No more than 15 students in a classroom when schools reopen for exams

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Director of the National Center for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Jennifer Cumberbatch Friday morning said that no more than 15 students will be allowed in a classroom when schools reopen on June 15.

The furniture in the schools will be placed six feet apart.

“The safety of your children is in our hands.  We are thinking of your children as our children.

“We have tried to think of everything to ensure that our children are safe,” Cumberbatch stated.

It was noted that the cleaning staff, security guards and teachers are being trained on infectious diseases practices and interventions should anyone present with any COVID-19 symptoms.

Health bays will be set up at every school to monitor everyone entering the school. The school and classrooms will be sanitized routinely, no one will be allowed entry without a face mask and the Ministry will provide masks for those students who cannot afford.

Parents are also asked to teach their children about social distancing and sanitizing guidelines.

These regulations will also be done in private schools across the country.

The Ministry of Education held a Webinar on arrangements for students registered to sit three exams – National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

The exam students will only be required to attend school on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday for approximately four hours.

Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) for Primary, Carol Benn said all students will be issued a sanitization kit – inclusive of face masks, soaps and hand sanitizers in the first week of re-entry into schools. Benn further explained that no parents will be allowed in the school compounds and teachers will be given face shields.

The NGSA teachers will return to school on Monday June 08 to prepare for students to return to school on June 15.

“We expect that teachers will give our learners reassurances to remove anxiety so that they become calm before the examinations,” Benn said.

There will be absolutely no vending at the schools but some canteens will be opened in the school’s compound.

Transportation will be provided for vulnerable students and those students who benefit from the hot meals programme will continue to have meals. The Ministry also encouraged parents to prepare meals for their children at home. It was also noted that no teachers with existing health conditions will not be allowed back to school at this time.

“We have put a menu of measures in place to ensure to safety of all during the upcoming teacher learner engagement and examinations,” Benn said.

Cumberbatch said that the Education Ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Public Health, the Pan American Health Organsition (PAHO), the Guyana Teacher’s Union, UNICEF and CARICOM to adequately plan for the reopening of schools for the exam students. Some of the protocols include regular hand washing, sanitizing, checking the temperatures of students upon entering the schools.

Chief Education Officer Ingrid Trotman stated that because of COVID-19, 352 nursery schools were closed affecting 29, 740 nursery students; 453 primary schools were also closed and affected 90,802 students. A total of 139 secondary schools were closed and this affected 68, 351 students.

These include public and private schools. A number of special needs and vocational institutions were also closed. A total of 11, 700 teachers were also affected with the closure of schools.

The Chief Education Officer responded to concerns from parents who opted not to have their children or child write the NGSA and explained that the child will be placed at the secondary school closest to them and then write a placement exam one year later.

To be placed at a high level school the child will have to obtain over 70% in the placement exam.

An estimated 14, 730 students will be writing the NGSA on July 01 and 02.

 

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