Schools across the territory will operate in ‘phases’, with no face-to-face interactions at physical educational facilities in the first instance, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley has said.
Dr Wheatley said the final term for this academic year would commence “by the first week in May” via online interactions. He further appealed to all schools to ‘make the necessary adjustments for students’.
During the first phase, all daycare centres and preschools will remain closed as it would be difficult to maintain hygiene and social distancing practises, the minister explained.
However, plans are in place to eventually have limited face-to-face classroom sessions to accommodate small groups of less than 20 students in spaces where social distancing practises of six feet apart is possible.
“This is subject to agreement by Cabinet in weekly update meetings,” Dr Wheatley said in the House of Assembly on Thursday, April 16.
Teachers to report at school campuses next week
For the time being, only educators are expected to report for work on school campuses.
“Beginning Monday, the 20th of April, teachers are to report to their respective schools for the purpose of planning and preparation for the upcoming term,” Dr Wheataley said.
“School janitors in the various communities should also report to their schools [but] students are to remain at home while teachers make preparations for classes to be conducted virtually. The ministry’s strategy for the final term in this school year is to conduct online teaching and learning,” he added.
Dr Wheatley also said school counsellors will conduct remote sessions with students who require counselling to cope with the new state of affairs in small groups or individually.