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Report on schools reopening: RC secondary students happy to be back

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly held a meeting for education stakeholders February 23 to get feedback on the return to school for Forms Four, Five and Six students preparing for examinations.

Limited face to face tuition resumed at secondary schools across the country February 8.

The Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) presented a report on the schools under its purview: Matelot Community College, St Francis College, the Presentation Colleges in San Fernando and Chaguanas, and St Benedict’s College.

The report indicated that students were happy to be physically back at school. Attendance was 100 per cent and students’ feedback was that “physical tuition was invaluable.”

The implementation of protocols: temperature checks, hand sanitising went smoothly as did arrivals and departures. Constant sanitising took place in the areas where labs and practical exercises were conducted. To observe physical distancing protocols, groups of students were rotated.

There was supervision to ensure protocols were adhered to and reminders were given on the need to sanitise, wear masks and maintain distancing.

A number of challenges were identified including reluctance by some teachers to cooperate fully with what was expected— they wanted to do minimum School Based Assessments and labs. There was also a reluctance to give extra support to students.

The timetabling for the blended learning—online and on-site, was found to be “time-consuming and difficult.” The CEBM listed areas where assistance was needed: school transportation, funding for lab equipment and consumables e.g., sanitisers.

The Matelot Community College was highlighted for not having telephone service and internet.