BVI News

Schools to reopen for select categories of students

Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley has announced that Cabinet has decided to reopen some local schools to specific categories of students.

He said Cabinet agreed that “access should be granted to students in senior grades who are preparing for and/or sitting standardized exams, or with special requirements”.

Dr Wheatley made that announcement in a statement on Sunday, May 31; noting that some groups of students are “not being adequately served”, despite the ministry’s efforts to facilitate online learning programmes.

He said the particularly disadvantaged students include children with special needs, technical students, marginalised students, students preparing to sit standardised exams, and some adult education students.

Precautions

In the meantime, the minister said some precautions and protocols will have to be followed before students are made to re-enter the physical classroom setting.

For example, he said students must have access to classrooms on a staggered schedule to enable safe distancing protocols. Specific steps must also be taken to ensure adequate social distancing.

The minister further noted that hygiene measures must be adhered to and that classroom equipment and tools such as desk, chairs, tables, and doors are properly disinfected between staggered sessions.

Inspections and certifications before reopening

Schools should be inspected and certified by the Chief Environmental Health Officer, before opening, Dr Wheatley added.

These protocols have been outlined in a new Public Health COVID-19 Control & Suppression Measures Order which takes effect tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2.

“I cannot emphasize enough, as we allow this limited number of students to access our physical school structures, safety is our number 1 priority. In consideration of such a decision was underpinned by a comprehensive look at guidance of international, regional, and local bodies. Ministry officials engaged UNICEF’S Framework for Reopening Schools which requires that the following six (6) key dimensions be used to assess their states of readiness and inform planning: policy, financing, safe operations, learning, reach the most marginalised and well-being/protection,” Dr Wheatley said.

BVI following regional and int’l guidelines

And while saying he understands that some parents still prefer their children to remain home at this time, he assured that his ministry is following the guidelines set out by regional and international organisations as it relates to the reopening of schools.

He said these organisations include the Caribbean Public Health Agency, UNICEF, the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organisation, among others.

“The COVID-19 threat is fluid, and, therefore, this plan is constantly being evaluated against local conditions, cabinet decisions along with other factors. It is envisioned that moving into the future, even beyond COVID-19, we will utilize a blended approach of online and face to face education, and public will be kept informed as we adjust to shifting circumstances,” Dr Wheatley said.

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12 Comments

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  1. madam speaker says:

    myrun is a better choice by far

    Like 11
    Dislike 31
  2. What? says:

    How can borders be open and schools not?

    Like 6
    Dislike 9
  3. Think again says:

    Don’t make sense because you can’t stop children from interacting with each other and yah ain’t going to have my f**k child wearing no mask all day. BECAUSE FYI THAT WILL KILL THEM.

    Like 18
    Dislike 5
  4. @think again says:

    I agree with you, can’t have children wearing a mask all day. Those of us who have to wear them for lengthy periods of time know the challenges of breathing and speaking with one on. We are opening the borders for persons to return who may potentially have the disease. For example, South Korea opened schools to some students and had to shut them down shortly after because some tested positive for the virus…many adults not socially distancing after the curfew relaxed much less children.

    The Territory may not have any cases now but our borders are opening up and there is a high probability of a second and larger wave of the virus.

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
  5. Vigilate says:

    What has Hon. Wheatley for the almost 18 months that he has been a minister? Apart from falling which he has always been know to do, what else? Education still floating from what Myron left in place. I wish Myron was here now.

    Like 8
    Dislike 10
    • Sue says:

      I have to agree with Vigilate the education minister has done nothing. When I listen to him speak I am do damn embarrassed how he speaks and always sounds uncertain of what he saying. The finance minister is another dictator and controlling he thinks he is dealing with animals. Well people asked for a change they get the change look pon trouble soon in the BVI border open, school closed, free of covid 19 what is the truth here. Please can somebody tell me?

  6. Guide Lines says:

    The BVI needs to stop following guidelines and make our own. Set our our own guidelines based on our own situation with the COVID-19.

    BVI stop follwoing and be a Leader!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  7. Real says:

    Get the place back to normal stop this power grabbing we is people not animals.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  8. Try Unity says:

    It never fails to see how negative we as blacks are towards each other. Challenge yourselves to be positive for once, you may all enjoy it. With respect I say Hon. Wheatley has been using great wisdom in everything he does. My fellow people, it is never wise to be in a hurry to change an inheritance because you can. Instead you should keep what works and improve on them, while you change the ones that don’t. I have great respect for Hon. wheatley, he tends to calculate his actions very well before he acts. As for those who wishes him failure, the same way you have all gathered will be the same way you all will be scattered. This man loves his job and he is good at it, you guys clearly loves the job of making comments, but you all are bullies at it.

  9. Sun says:

    It never fails to see how negative we as blacks are towards each other. Challenge yourselves to be positive for once, you may all enjoy it. With respect I say Ho. Wheatley has been using great wisdom in everything he does. My fellow people, it is never wise to be in a hurry to change an inheritance because you can. Instaed you should keep what works and improve on them, while you change the ones that don’t. I have great great respect for Hon. Wheatley, he tends to calculate his actions very well before he acts. As for those who wishes him failure, the same way you have all gathered will be the same way you all will be scattered. This man loves his job and is good at it, you guys clearly loves the job of making comments, but you all are bullies at it.

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