More than 500 schools islandwide reopened their gates on Monday (May 10) to resume face-to-face classes for students who will be sitting upcoming examinations.

 

Educational institutions were ordered closed on March 21 due to a surge in the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the island.

 

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, who visited Dunoon Park Technical High School in Kingston this morning to observe proceedings, said that more institutions are expected to reopen during this week.

 

She indicated that the necessary protocols are in place to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

 

“It would not have been the first time that the students would be back in the physical environment. Through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, we’ve done the physical inspections to make sure the signs are there, the wash stations, and so forth,” she noted.

 

During the visit to Dunoon, the Education Minister toured classes and spoke with students about the importance of safeguarding themselves against the virus.

 

School Principal, Shawn Aarons, said that about 90 students were expected to return to school for face-to-face learning on Monday.

 

He said that online classes continue, and the school is also reaching out to students who have not logged on for classes.

 

“What we try to do is to take the printed material to the homes of those students,” he said.

 

Grade-11 student, Shaemoy Willis, told JIS News that she was “really excited” to return to face-to-face learning.

 

“At home, I had Internet problems; it’s either slow or it goes away often. I prefer physical classes because it’s more interesting,” she pointed out.

 

Mikhail Bygrave, who is also in grade 11, said he was happy to be back in the physical school environment, but he prefers online classes.

 

“I don’t have an issue with the online classes. The students are muted when they’re not asking a question or contributing to discussions, so you don’t have the interruptions,” he said.

 

Mikhail said he feels “very prepared” for the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.