NASSAU, The Bahamas – When public schools reopen on Monday, September 21, 2020, parents will have 3 instructional models – face to face, hybrid/blended, or online — to select from for their children.
The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, announced in a Communication to the House of Assembly, July 22, 2020, that following ‘rigorous’ consultation with the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Department of Education along with local and international education stakeholders and public health officials, the MOE has conceived and designed the “best” strategies for the reopening of school.
“In all of our considerations we are and will continue to be guided by the advice from public health officials and educational stakeholders on what is in the best interest of our students and staff,” said Minister Lloyd.
“The health and safety of everyone associated with education is paramount. The priority therefore is to minimize the risk of direct infection of COVID-19 as teaching and learning continues regardless of the path that we choose.”
It is likely that there will be a blend of the models at some schools.
“Many schools in different districts and different environments operate differently though under the same rubric of regulations by the MOE.
“Therefore, one size does not fit all. What works best in one scenario may not be best for another. The ideal arrangement is for our children to be engaged in face-to-face instruction every day, all day, especially those in the pre-primary, primary and even the middle years.”
- Guarantees the most effective social, emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, cultural development;
- Least disruptive to the established routine of students, parents and instructional leaders;
- Easier to monitor and evaluate the instructional process;
- Provides a comfort of normalcy
Fully online learning model
- Students remain away from campus
- Entire instruction takes place online, in a home or elsewhere under the supervision of parents or other suitably qualified adult
- Combines face–to-face instruction with online learning;
- Decreases the number of students on campus each day by moving some of the instruction online to an alternate day schedule;
- Students who are online may remain at home or attend a care centre on that day.
Minister Lloyd informed that because of the need to follow health protocols, the face-to-face model in schools with larger populations cannot work.
“We simply do not have the space to accommodate the total student body at one time. If the spread of the virus abates we will be able to proceed with the entire student body attending the school campus every day, all day. No matter what we do, the required health and safety standards will be rigidly observed and enforced.”
The following protocols will be followed:
- Wearing of masks for children where appropriate;
- Physical distance with a classroom capacity of 20 square feet per student;
- Staggered lunch times;
- Cancelation of general assembly where crowds gather;
- Temperature checks;
- Utilization of multiple entry and exit points on campuses;
- The engagement of buses and other transport vehicles to ferry students to and from campuses
- Educators with pre-existing comorbidities, who may not be available for face-to-face instruction in the midst of COVID-19, will utilize the online platform to teach students.
SOURCE: BAHAMAS INFORMATION SERVICES