Education ministry gets full support from western Jamaica educatorsThursday, February 25, 2021
BY ANTHONY LEWIS
LUCEA, Hanover — Some school principals in western Jamaica have given the Ministry of Education's adjustment to face-to-face classes their full support.
Fayval Williams, the education minister, announced yesterday that effective immediately only students who are to sit exit exams are to be allowed in schools for face-to-face classes.
Principal of Claremont Primary School in Hanover, Narval Hall told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the announcement did not take him by surprise, based on the increased number of coronavirus cases across the island.
“Although it will impact us in a very negative way, based on the rise in numbers across Jamaica, it is something that I had expected. It had not taken me by surprise,” stated Hall.
Claremont Primary had resumed classes for all grades based on a blended approach and shift basis, with a special emphasis on grade six.
In the neighbouring parish of St James, Lestor Miller, principal of Chatsworth Primary and Infant School, argued that, with an increase in coronavirus cases, he is in full support of the minister's decision.
“To be honest with you, we know that we have to take this upsurge seriously, and in light of the increases in the COVID cases we have to ensure that we follow protocols and ensure that our students remain safe. So, until further notice, I am in full support, because health comes first over everything,” stated Miller.
He said more than 90 per cent of his students are partaking in online classes and as such the ministry's move will not affect his school adversely. Besides, all grades had resumed face-to-face classes using a blended approach.
In Westmoreland, Little London High School was slated to reopen for face-to-face classes next week. Principal Garfield James said he, too, is in agreement with the decision.
“I agree, because even though much preparation may be made, the environment is not always conducive to facilitating a large number of students coming in all at once. So, to introduce these guidelines are necessary to do it in a way that we gradually move to a full reopening. So, I would want to agree with the minister on this one,” said James.
“So, despite any directive that may come to my board, I am not going to be facilitating anybody except the grade 11 students who are being prepared to sit external exams,” stated James, stressing this will allow the school to be in full compliance with the Ministry of Health and Wellness's guidelines.
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