Sun | Jan 17, 2021

COVID-19 stops new shows for TVJ school-based competitions

Published:Saturday | October 10, 2020 | 12:10 AM
The boys from Mona Prep pose with the trophy for winning TVJ’s Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz for 2019.  They won over Broughton Primary. Team members in photo are (from left) Damajae McCalla, Jonathan Whyte, Mijaun Talbot, and Gabriel McDaniel.
The boys from Mona Prep pose with the trophy for winning TVJ’s Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz for 2019. They won over Broughton Primary. Team members in photo are (from left) Damajae McCalla, Jonathan Whyte, Mijaun Talbot, and Gabriel McDaniel.

There will be no new shows for the 2020 seasons of TVJ’s Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz and TVJ’s All Together Sing given that face-to-face teaching in school has been suspended this school term.

The community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica and the announcement by the Government that school plants will not physically engage students this term has prompted this decision by TVJ.

Multiple options on how to safely stage the competition were examined. These options had stringent physical distancing and gathering restrictions in TVJ’s studios at Broadcasting House in Kingston. However, the station decided that the safety of the students, teachers, families, and communities was of paramount concern not only inside, but also in transit to the studios. Many schools were committed to participating in the 2020 season of both competitions.

According to TVJ, like all the students, teachers, and other stakeholders who are affected, it is disappointing that the reality of the rising spread of infections and growing fatalities from the COVID-19 pandemic do not support staging the competitions this year.

TVJ is of the view that putting the competitions on hold is the responsible decision to take in the national interest.

There will be special archival-based seasons for both TVJ’s Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz and TVJ’s All Together Sing, which will still provide rich and engaging broadcast entertainment featuring the nations’ youth.

Annual scholarship

And even though TVJ will not have the Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz season in 2020, the station is still committed to its annual scholarship to one talented youngster from this cohort. This scholarship, for a student moving on to secondary school, will be awarded in summer 2021. Entries will be accepted from schools that confirmed their participation in the aborted 2020 season.

TVJ says it will continue to play its role in keeping the nation healthy and safe. “We will comply with all measures put in place to protect our people and our children in particular as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said TVJ.