Education Minister Shawn Edward has cited the ineffectiveness of online learning in advocating face-to-face schooling.
“The online learning platform is there – that is what we have to use for the time being, but it has proved to be a very ineffective modality,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Tuesday’s sitting of parliament.
“But it’s the best we can do, and it is for this reason I have been advocating for our children to be back at school,’ Edward explained.
“We have to learn to live with COVID,” the Minister declared.
Edward recalled that against the wishes of the Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU), schools reopened on January 10, but the country reverted to online learning three days later.
Asked about a timeline for the resumption of in-person classes, the Minister said the dynamics on the ground regarding COVID-19 management would influence the decision.
“I am on the record as stating that I believe that our children should be in school for face to face instruction as much as possible,” he stated.
“Our students have been at home for the better part of a week and a half, two weeks now and for me I can’t wait for them to be back in school for face-to-face instruction because I believe this is the best modality as far as instruction is concerned. I have stated before a number of reasons why I believe our students should be in school, but of course we are operating in an environment that has been induced by a pandemic but I am very confident that in the coming days our children will be back in school,” Edward told reporters.
“I have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever making a decision today and having to pull back the day after. What is important for me is having our children in school where they can interface with their teachers. This is the most effective modality. This is the most effective form of instruction there is, and our position is strengthened by the fact that when they are at home, they do not have the level of parental supervision required,’ the Minister explained.
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