Education officials in Saint Lucia are expecting that there will be a safe re-opening of school in September, 2020, for all students.
But they say it all depends on the advice of the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer.
“We are praying and hoping that with all of our protocols in place, with the guidance of the Ministry of Health, we can look at a proposed re-opening in September for all of our students,” says Chief Education Officer, Doctor Fiona Phillip-Mayer.
She spoke as various education sector stakeholders met Thursday to review the phased re-opening of school as of June 3rd, 2020 and to address options for the academic year 2020-2021.
The meeting was held at the Stanley John Odlum Memorial Secondary School in Marigot.
The Ministry of Education, on the advice of the Ministry of Health and Wellness decided, along with stakeholders, to commence a phased reopening of school in the physical classroom space for Grade Six and Form Five as of June 03, 2020.
The decision was taken to facilitate the preparation of students for the Common Entrance and CSEC Examinations.
A multi-faceted approach to instruction for the third-term has been utilized, through several virtual means, to keep students engaged during the period away from the classroom, as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, according to the Ministry of Education.
The Chief Education Officer applauded the efforts of teachers and others who rallied behind the phased reopening.
“Some went above and beyond to implement particular guidelines, sometimes in very creative and innovative ways to ensure children came back,” Doctor Fiona Phillip-Mayer noted.
“We note that there are several other stakeholder engagements” she said.
According to the Chief Education Officer, the use of masks and hand washing stations have to be looked at in depth on a school by school basis.
“This is why we want to consult and propose strategies to move to a safe re-opening,” she explained