Schools may remain open during July/ August break to counter learning losses

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There has been a full return to face-to-face classes and Minister of Education Priya Manickchand says that schools may remain open during the upcoming July/ August break to help educators recoup some of the learning losses recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manickchand visited schools on Tuesday morning as the final set of pupils returned to face-to-face classes. The full return to face-to-face classes started Monday last.

Though she said that schools are generally in good physical condition to accommodate children, she raised concerns about the education needed by all learners.

“We really have to find ways to make sure that these children get exposed to the hours of education they need.

“…we may have to work into July/ August and how we do that may be dependent on who’s willing to work,” she said during a live interview on Facebook published by the Ministry of Education.

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand (Photo: News Room/September 21, 2021)

The full reopening of schools comes after full face-to-face classes were suspended more than two years ago to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus. Since then, learning shifted online and there were eventually some class rotations.

But during that period, local and international stakeholders acknowledged that learners experienced learning losses. There have also been instances of absenteeism and concerns over school dropouts.

“We have real issues academically to pursue,” Manaickchand said on Tuesday.

Ahead of the decision to potentially keep schools open during the July/ August break, Manickchand reminded the public that children returning to schools will each undergo a diagnostic assessment to allow their teachers to understand the learning gaps that might have developed while schools were physically closed.

Additionally, a consolidated curriculum is being used to ensure that children can learn the content from the year before alongside the content of their current year of study.

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