Schools in Saint Lucia will reopen on Monday September 13, 2021, for the academic year 2021-2022 using the virtual, ‘distributed learning’ approach, Acting Chief Education Officer, Cirus Cepal, announced on Friday.
“As you know, we are faced with COVID-19 pandemic and all sectors have been affected and more so education, but we are thankful to God that he has given us the opportunity where we can still reopen school, though it be virtually,” Cepal said.
He indicated that the decision was based on consultation with the Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU), the National Principals Association (NPA) and a number of other players and advice from the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
“Cabinet met and together we have agreed that reopening of school will be Monday 13th September 2021 and this will be done following the distributed learning approach,” Cepal disclosed.
He expressed the hope that face to face instruction would occur soon, based on consultation with everyone and the decision of the CMO and cabinet.
“We have a number of social ills that we face because of the pandemic on students and more so with online learning or the distributed learning method,” Cepal disclosed.
Among the issues he highlighted was the dropout rate of students especially among boys.
And while asserting that it takes a village to raise a child, Cepal said the education system needs to nurture the students and identify where they need help, not only academically, but also in terms of social development.
“The education system right now, we are going to review to see to what extent are we just simply meeting the needs of the – probably the academic children? Are we simply meeting the needs of maybe those who want to go into sports? Are we meeting the needs of those who may have emotional needs?”
“This is what the Ministry of Education – we are doing right now,” he asserted.
Headline photo: Cirus Cepal