The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) wishes to remind school administrators to work collaboratively with parents/guardians and other key stakeholders to ensure the safe movement of students to and from school during the period of preparation for and the sitting of all exit examinations: CXC, City and Guilds and NCTVET.
While it is anticipated that parents will make the necessary transportation arrangements for their children, whether by the use of public passenger vehicles or private arrangements, school administrators are being asked to facilitate the requests for transportation assistance for a limited number of students on PATH or other needy students whose family situations have worsen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As outlined in the Education in Emergencies: A Manual for the Reopening of Educational Institutions, school administrators are being asked to:
§ Determine available funds under Ministry’s Rural School Bus Programme to support transportation service requests for needy students. In doing so, school administrators of the 131 public high schools that are currently engaged in the programme, should prepare and submit an income and expenditure statement. This is very critical to the decision making process.
§ Authorize, in collaboration with other school leaders, that vehicles currently engaged in the Ministry’s Rural School Bus Programme at the primary and secondary levels be utilized to provide transport service for PATH and other needy students.
§ Develop partnerships with schools that are not currently engaged under the Ministry’s Rural School Bus Programme to engage their school buses to provide shuttle services for PATH and other needy students.
To operationalize the Ministry’s transportation assistance to targeted PATH and needy students, schools are expected to:
· Establish a mechanism for parents on PATH and those experiencing severe financial challenges to seek transportation assistance from the school for their child.
· Generate a list of students who will require transportation assistance to attend classes and external exams.
· Collate requests for financial support for transportation services for needy students and advance to the Ministry for approval.
· Verify original copies of the requisite documents (Insurance, Certificate of Fitness, and Road License) as proof of eligibility for engaged vehicles to provide shuttle services for approved PATH and other needy students.
· Establish and operationalize logistic arrangements for shuttled bus service to be provided for needy students. This include centralized pick up point (s) and a transportation schedule.
· Ensure that vehicles engaged by the schools are compliant with established health protocols including: sanitizing the vehicle after each trip, practising social/physical distancing, ensuring that all occupants of the vehicles are wearing face mask and that at all times the windows of the vehicles are opened while in operation.
· Ensure that students sign a travel log for each trip.
· Establish a monitoring committee to account for and support students who are absent due to transportation challenges.
· Ensure that students are equipped with the requisite knowledge about COVID-19 to safely use public passenger or private vehicles and those who will walk to school.
The Ministry is cognizant and understands the anxiety concerning the reopening of schools. We encourage school administrators to mobilize the support of all stakeholders: parents, members of community, Past Students Associations, Faith-based Organizations, among other key partners to ensure the success of the reopening process and the safe transportation of our students to and from their various destinations.
For further information, or queries, please contact Mr. Richard Troupe at 876 551-8195 or via email at [email protected].