Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Grenada returns to school in phases during the COVID-19 pandemic

Minister of Education for Grenada, Emmalin Pierre

Minister of Education for Grenada, Emmalin Pierre

The new school term in Grenada commences from September 7 but regular or normal teaching activities will not begin until the fourth week of September.  

Education Minister Emmalin Pierre in an address to the nation last night said the reopening of school will be done in phases to ensure students are prepared mentally for the return to regular classroom activities.  

Week one will serve as orientation for students, during week two students will remain at home with parents being engaged and during week three, students will be engaged through assessments.   

 

These assessments will be administered solely for the purpose of determining the academic needs of the students.  

The Education Minister said when regular class sessions begin, some schools may be forced to do a blended approach, combining face to face and online learning.  

She said this may be necessary due to limited space, although the National COVID-19 committee has approved the three feet physical distancing the classrooms which schools will implement based on their level of comfort.   

In Grenada, schools will employ their own strategies for blended learning as each school is unique.  

However, the school specific plans must be approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure basic standards are maintained.  

The Education Minister said parents will be required to provide a mask to help protect their children.  

If they could afford it, parents should also provide their children with additional hand sanitisers.  

Pierre pointed out that three major challenges are being faced with the return to school: limited finances, limited space and the need to implement a blended approach.  

She stated that despite a significant drop in revenue and the challenge of meeting its recurrent financial responsibilities, Government has committed an additional $1.9 million dollars just for additional support services and supplies for the next four months.  

The Minister said this figure does not include the $50 million dollars allocated to school repairs and the $21 million already committed, since the start of COVID-19, to cover e-learning activities, resources and other support for schools. 

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