The limited re-opening of schools announced recently by Minister for Education Hon. Emmalin Pierre, comes into effect on Monday, 1 November 2021.
The decision to open schools for a 2-week period for specified groups of students was taken after intensive consultation with the Ministry of Health and education stakeholders including the Education Advisory Council, management boards of denominational schools, Grenada Union of Teachers, principals, parents and students.
Among the issues highlighted were students who have not been engaged in online learning since the commencement of the current school term; exam readiness of students in exit classes, such as Form 5; the inability to engage early learners online in significant ways; students who are low-performing and reading below their grade level; remote learning difficulties faced by special education students; teachers who are not engaging their students and teachers who are challenged in creating quality content for online learning.
Minister Pierre also cited the escalation of the abuse of minors, attempted suicides and loitering during school hours among social and behavioural issues, which are often attributed to remote learning, and high stress levels among teachers in adapting to online learning. She detailed concerns relating to national examination trends, which show a decline in pass rates for Mathematics and English in the CSEC examinations.
Referencing the Week Three Remote Learning Report, Minister Pierre said 21, 932 students were enrolled, but only 55.7% recorded satisfactory participation in online learning. She also noted that only 70% of teachers are submitting remote learning data.
As a result, the Ministry of Education, guided by the Cabinet and the Ministry of Health, has determined that it is prudent for some measure of reopening of schools. First priority for resumption will be given to students in exit grades and second priority to students who have not been satisfactorily engaged in remote learning for various reasons.
Phase one of the reopening of schools, including the TA Marryshow Community College, is as follows:
|Institution||Mondays||Tuesdays||Wednesdays to Fridays|
|Pre-Primary and Primary||Kindergarten to Grade 2||Grades 3, 4 & 5||Pre-Schoolers/4+|
|Secondary Schools||Forms 1 & 2||Forms 3 & 4||Form 5|
|TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC)||Year 1||Year 1||Year 2|
|All other schools
(For these groups, students will return according to grade level)
|Disconnected students of other grades to attend, according to school specific plans||Disconnected students of other grades to attend, according to school specific plans||Students of the exit grades specific to these institutions shall attend Wednesday-Friday|
Classes for exit grades, forms and classes are Wednesdays to Fridays, while Mondays and Tuesdays are specifically designated to engage and to follow-up with students who have not been demonstrating an interest in online classes, or who are unable connect. On Wednesdays to Fridays, ALL students in exit classes should report for face-to-face classes.
The principals of special needs schools will contact parents on specific arrangements for this group of students. Students who are unable to wear a mask and who have underlying medical conditions are advised to remain at home. School Attendance Officers will follow up with students and parents during this period, to ensure compliance.
For schools currently undergoing construction, the principal, maintenance officer and contractor will determine whether work continues, or whether the work schedule should be altered to accommodate the reopening of school. Additionally, the Education Ministry will continue to provide cleaning supplies and personnel for sanitising public schools.
Explaining the process for reopening of private schools, Hon. Pierre said, “Private schools shall submit an electronic application, seeking approval for resumption. Approval will be granted on a case-by-case basis, depending on factors like the number of students and the size of the school. Monitors will be assigned to follow-up and to check for compliance.”