The Ministry of Education has postponed the rollout of the shift system that was to be introduced at Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) starting today, May 3.
News of the postponement came during a last-minute announcement Sunday night — hours before the rollout. The deferral is “until further notice”.
Responding to subsequent questions from BVI News, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said the postponement is because of “concerns” that were raised.
The minister did not specify what the concerns were or from whom they came.
He explained: “There have been some concerns that have come to my attention and I would like for the Education Advisory Board and other stakeholders to have an opportunity to investigate and consider these concerns before moving forward.”
Our news centre had also asked the minister whether the schools, particularly ESHS, was indeed ready to make the change from hybrid learning to a shift system and whether he believed the decision was premature or if there was any pressure to roll out this shift system.
Wheatley did not address those questions directly. But in a single blanket response, he said “there will be broader consultation for major decisions” under his leadership going forward.
“I appreciate that much planning has gone into this shift system by administrators and teachers, and I also acknowledge this postponement may have caused some inconvenience to parents and others. I humbly apologise and ask for the indulgence of all parties as we make sure we get this absolutely right. I appreciate the public’s patience as we move forward together,” Dr Wheatley added.
The system would have allowed for two shifts — a morning and an afternoon group of students. The morning shift would run from 8:40 – 11:55 am while the afternoon shift would have run from 12:40 – 3:55 pm.
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