Thursday 22 October, 2020

Teachers concerned about sanitization ahead of school opening



Sanitization has been placed at the top of lists of concerns by teachers as they prepare to head back into the classroom next month. 

This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw during a post meeting briefing with reporters on Tuesday. The Ministry held the first in a series of consultation meetings with secondary school teachers at the Wildey Gymnasium chaired by the Minister and attended by Director of the COVID-19 Unit, Ronald Chapman as well as  Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Dwight Sutherland and Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde. 

The Minister said the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit will be liaising with the Ministry to ensure that protocols are implemented and schools plants are clean. 

Bradshaw also said the Ministry is looking into using alternate venues for schools to address the issue of physical and social distancing. 

"My colleague Ministers are willing to work with us, whether it is with the churches to be able to provide spaces and use community centers if we have to, to be able to expand the offerings of available locations. I think even the Gymnasium is open as well, where we might have to do a lecture-style type session for students."

Bradshaw said she recognized there cannot be a "one size fits all" approach and principals would need to work with their respective schools to make school environments safe. 

She added teachers and the Ministry agreed that a mix of teaching styles may be the best option for schools going forward. 

“The view is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that we can possibly take to reintroduce students into the face-to-face environment. But I think there is a general feeling that a blended approach, where we couple face-to-face with the use of technology, is perhaps the best way to go."

Other concerns put forward by teachers included the practicality of completing the syllabus in light of the shortened school term as well as technology training for online teaching.

The meeting for primary school teachers was held today with Ministry officials. 

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