More schools reopening in Region Four
Regional Director in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr Michelle Pinnock, says by the end of this week, a total of 34 schools should be reopened for a mix of face-to-face and remote learning in Region 4.
The Region covers Hanover, St James and Westmoreland.
According to Pinnock, as at Friday, January 22, there were 27 schools in the region employing face-to-face instructions and remote learning.
She noted that primary-school students in grades four to six, who are slated to sit the upcoming Primary Exit Profile examinations, will take part in the face-to-face lessons.
Pinnock stressed that the Education Ministry has been working in tandem with the Ministry of Health every step of the way to ensure the safe reopening of schools in the region.
“We partner well with the Ministry of Health; we are in contact with the persons in charge of each of the parishes and I try to keep them abreast as to what is happening, so we have a great partnership going,” she said.
She added: “The public health inspectors are in the schools daily, and the health promotion officers are also in the schools working with the teachers, doing sessions with the students. So, the partnership is there and they make sure that they evaluate us on a continuous basis to see how it is that we are doing with the protocols. They go into our schools announced and unannounced, so they give us the feedback; they ensure that we follow the different protocols.”
The Regional Director said that prior to a school reopening in the region, the Ministry must first complete two important pieces of documentation. The first document speaks to logistics and determines how many students can be in classrooms and elsewhere on the school premises, in adherence to social-distancing protocols.
The second document is the 10-point implementation plan of what is expected of schools when they reopen. Meetings are held with parents to discuss the plan prior to the reopening of a school in the region.
She stated that the region has a feedback system, which involves reopened schools giving a weekly report to the Ministry about any issues that may arise during that week.
Pinnock further noted that the region takes the blended approach to learning seriously, as it promotes independent learning among students.
“We are trying to promote self-discipline as it relates to their schoolwork, so we are not just taking them back into the school setting face-to-face for them to complete a syllabus, we are taking them in to also get the attitude of becoming independent learners,” she said.
Several schools across the island resumed face-to-face learning on January 11.
Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.