Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, says safety protocols are in place at the schools with face-to-face classes, as administrators have put in systems to protect children and staff.
The State Minister, who spoke with reporters during a visit to Cumberland High School in Portmore, St. Catherine, today (January 5), said the safety measures being implemented by the schools came out of dialogue between the Ministry and education stakeholders, which included parents.
“Parents do not need to worry. Whenever you hear that the Ministry of Education says this school is ready for face-to-face [classes], you can be assured that we have taken into consideration all the variables, with the safety of our students, teachers and their parents, and those at home in mind,” he said.
Mr. Morgan, along with a team from the Ministry, observed the measures in place to protect the children from contracting the COVID-19 virus, from the entrance to other key areas.
“It is clear that the administration here understands what needs to take place,” the State Minister said.
He also appealed to public transportation providers to assist the process by sticking to the rules laid down by the Ministry of Transport and Mining to control the virus.
“It is a simple virus to prevent. It is in our best interest, as individuals, to follow the protocols. The transport operators can be ambassadors for good hygiene and safety,” Mr. Morgan said.
The State Minister and the team also visited Crescent Primary School in the parish, where they observed face-to-face classes.
Mr. Morgan said he is “very proud” of what the administration has done to ensure safety for the children and staff.
Meanwhile, he called on parents to be “present” for students who are learning virtually, noting that the Ministry has provided support through computer and Internet provision, to ensure that the children have access to continued learning.
Principal at the Crescent Primary School, Icylyn Kelly, said the face-to-face learning has been a “happy moment” and opportunity for many students to prepare for upcoming examinations, and they have worked hard to put things in place for all to be safe from COVID-19.
For his part, Principal at Cumberland High School, Darien Henry, said the two days of face-to-face classes have gone well, and he wants public transport operators to be part of the effort.
“They have an important role to play to ensure that our children are safe, by ensuring that passengers wear their masks, sanitise and maintain social distancing,” he said.