BVI News

New school year starts today! Online learning the safest option — Education Minister

As the new school year comes to an official start in the British Virgin Islands today, Monday, September 7, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley is insisting that online learning is the best option at this time.

Responding to an invited comment from BVI News on Sunday, the Minister said: “Our plans to reopen for some face-to-face instruction were delayed due to this current outbreak of COVID-19.”

He continued: “I understand that there are difficulties with fully online learning, but this is the safest option for continuity in learning giving the threat of this virus. Parents should bear in mind that COVID-19 is a serious threat, and we must remain vigilant in observing health protocols.”

While thanking parents and students for their perseverance and resilience, he said the ministry would use the lessons that it has learned from the last term to improve the effectiveness of our delivery to our students.

“Cabinet will review the decision to go fully online every two weeks to determine when is the best time to resume our plans,” he stated.

COVID-19 affects students 

COVID-19 has now affected school-age children in the territory, health officials previously announced.

With that in mind, Minister Wheatley said the first term of the 2020/2021 would be held virtually for private and public schools.

“We will be providing orientation and training specifically for the educators, parents, students and support staff members of these institutions. The sessions begin on September 1, 2020, with a focus on the online platforms, specifically, in the areas of Power School, the VIDE textbooks full usage and Google classroom for assessment, evaluations and lesson planning,” he explained.

The education minister also announced that classes for all public schools would commence from September 21 following a number of meetings with various stakeholders.

“On September 7, as minister, I will speak to all educators as I outline my strategic direction for the school year and declare the official school year opened. This will be followed by a Professional Day for educators. The rest of that week will be used for Professional Development Planning and Preparation for the new school year,” he stated.

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9 Comments

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  1. CEO says:

    Correction Hon. Minister. Teachers of public schools were ordered to return to work last Thursday.

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  2. With what wifi says:

    And how are the parents going to pay for the wifi when they are not working?

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  3. But says:

    How come no teachers inform me of anything yet or are classes not started as yet???

  4. Hmm says:

    The booklist is still out how am goingbto buy books and supplies for my two children when i am laid off and cannot get any stimulus relief yet.

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  5. Expat says:

    School open and some parents are still locked out. Who will guide those children in the absence of their parents.

  6. Parent says:

    Classes for students begin on the 21 in public schools. Next week teachers attend workshops. The following week they prepare for the students.

  7. Sad says:

    We continue to say the young people are the future but at the same time our older heads have set them up to fail. Sadly this guy has failed in carrying out his entire portfolio and will be a one-termer. Fishing/Farming in disarray, Education turned up-side-down and he seems to just be enjoying the ‘perks’ that come with being an elected official.

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  8. Obvious says:

    It is very obvious that his Government is very happy for COVID because it enables them to raid the treasury and keep everyone hostage as victims, destroying our businesses and lives so that we can turn in to beggars, thereby making themselves more powerful. If people don’t see what is at play here then I am truly sorry for the future of this Territory. It really shows it’s not what you do but it’s who do it because there’s no way the NDP could have held the entire Territory hostage for 7 months, no plans, no clue while the place falls apart. Meanwhile these guys are getting away with everything under the sun and nobody has the balls to speak about it. We deserve the government we got and they are doing a very good job of tearing down this place.

    Like 1
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