Education ministry to use GIS mapping to guide school reopening

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Education ministry to use GIS mapping to guide school reopening

Thursday, September 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will use GIS mapping, demographic and health data to drive the safe reopening of schools.

This was among the strategies discussed at a meeting at the ministry's National Heroes Circle offices yesterday, called by portfolio minister Fayval Williams.

The meeting also included Minister of State Robert Nesta Morgan; national epidemiologist Dr Karen Webster Kerr; and director of the Mona Geoinformatics Institute Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr; as well as Acting Permanent Secretary Dr Grace McLean and Acting Chief Education Officer Dr Kasan Troupe from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Dr Webster Kerr shared Ministry of Health and Wellness data on the confirmed COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 spread, as well as a summary of the inspection of schools including assessment of their readiness.

School zones have also been assigned vulnerability scores to allow for continued assessment of their COVID-19 readiness.

“The ministry is keen on having a strategic approach to the reopening of schools. There will be variability based on data set analysis and how we as a ministry, the society, communities and institutions continue to evolve in dealing with this pandemic,” Williams noted.

The teams from the ministries will be having further collaboration to perfect the formula to ensure that, as the school reopening process continues, there is continued emphasis on the safety of all stakeholders, the ministry said in a news release.

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