Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Class 4 students return to school on June 15; BSSEE set for July 14

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Honourable Santia Bradshaw addressing the media at  a press conference outside the Elsie Payne Complex today (May 16, 2020)

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Honourable Santia Bradshaw addressing the media at a press conference outside the Elsie Payne Complex today (May 16, 2020)

Class 4 students head back to school on June 15 and are scheduled to write the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE), commonly known as the 11-plus exam on July 14, 2020. 

This will allow for four weeks of instruction before students will be required to sit the Entrance Exam. The exam was originally scheduled to take place on May 5, 2020.

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw made the announcement this afternoon (May 16) while addressing members of the media. She today provided an update on matters relating to examinations, devices and the re-opening of schools in the present COVID-19 environment.

“With the assistance of protocols that have been put in place for the reopening of schools in a phased way by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), we have spoken to our public health officials, we have started discussions with the respective unions and we have come to some consensus in terms of the way forward as it relates to a set of protocols, which would guide the return to school for both our teachers, as well as our students at the Class 4 level,” Minister Bradshaw said.

The Minister went on to outline various requirements that would be put in place including the sanitization of facilities, the provision of masks for both teachers and students, access to sanitizing materials as well as physical distancing guidelines which would come into play with the phased re-opening of schools.

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“While we plan as well for the actual day of the examination with a set of protocols being put in place, we are equally looking at the protocols that would be necessary to govern the return to school of the Class 4 students into the respective environments,” Bradshaw added.

With respect to the Blackman and Gollop School, which was utilized as a health facility under COVID-19, the Minister assured that a thorough sanitization of the facilities will be undertaken before it was handed back over to the Ministry of Education and saw the return of any Class 4 students.

With over 3,300 students set to take this year’s Entrance Examination, the Education Minister gave the assurance that the ministry’s intent is to provide safe school environments for both teachers and students.  

In addition to Class 4 pupils, secondary students in the process of compiling their School Based Assessments (SBAs) for CXC will be allowed to return to school to complete those assessments.

The second term came to an abrupt end on March 18 when the government took a decision to close all schools after the first cases of COVID-19 were discovered on the island.

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