Almost every grade could open during August break; teachers, parents to be consulted

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Almost every grade could remain open during the upcoming July/ August break should the ongoing children’s diagnostic assessment indicate that there are numerous learning gaps, Education Minister Priya Manickchand has said.

At the sidelines of an event on Wednesday, Minister Manickchand told the News Room that keeping schools open throughout the break is only one of several possible solutions her ministry is examining to help children recover from educational losses experienced over the two years schools were closed.

“Once we’re going that route, it would have to be almost every grade,” Manickchand said, adding: “Of course, anything that we do would have to have the support of teachers.”

As of Tuesday, children in all grades returned to full face-to-face classes. And this full reopening of schools comes after in-person 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 on Tuesday, Manickchand said that the Education Ministry was worried about learning losses.

The Education Minister told the News Room that the decision to keep schools open during the break would likely be informed by the ongoing diagnostic assessments.

These diagnostic assessments, it was explained previously, will allow teachers to understand the learning gaps that might have developed while schools were closed. This diagnostic assessment is also expected to provide teachers with an understanding of their overall well-being and what support services they would need.

Each child in the public school system is expected to undergo this assessment.

And Manickchand said that this assessment will indicate which schools or which grades may need to remain open during the break. It can also show whether strategies can be employed during the current school term to help recoup learning losses before the July/ August break.

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