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MoE guidelines

The Ministry of Education (MoE) disseminated Guidelines for the Reopening of Schools Phase 3 Term 2, 2021/2022 which begins February 7 for Forms 1–3 and Standard 5 students.

The academic year started September 6 virtually. Physical classes were introduced in phases with Phase 1 October 4 for fully vaccinated Forms 4–6, Phase 2 October 25 for Forms 4–6 secondary school students inclusive of unvaccinated and special needs students.

According to the guidelines, Reopening of Educational Intuitions, teachers are not required to provide either asynchronous or synchronous teaching to students who are absent without excuse from physical school when rostered for attendance; where possible, schools may engage students rostered for asynchronous learning in synchronous classes using available technology. Where multiple members of a family attend the same school, every effort should be made to synchronise their attendance schedules.

The General Guidelines for Schools includes the following:

  1. Schools should revert to normal (pre-Covid) hours of school operations with the exception of primary schools which will operate from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students and one hour in –school planning period daily from 2–3 p.m. Consideration can be given for exceptions to this timeframe on a case-by-case basis bearing in mind that any changes may affect Public Transport Service Corporation school transport arrangement.
  2. Daily reminders of safety protocol to be broadcast over school PA systems at least five times daily—morning assembly, morning break, at the start and end of lunch break, and at school dismissal. A pre-recorded message can be utilised for this purpose.
  3. Student attendance will be monitored by use of an electronic/online register. Schools are not required at this time to use both the physical and the online register.
  4. Entry protocols (handwashing, temperature checks, contact information collection) to be enforced and strictly adhered to.
  5. Universal masking to be strictly enforced for all staff and students.
  6. As far as possible teaching spaces to be utilised to accommodate 50 per cent of the regular class size.
  7. Opportunities for congregation to be eliminated—no whole school assemblies, mass meetings.
  8. To minimise student interaction, a staggering of break and lunch times should be implemented. A system for supervision of students.
  9. Extra-curricular activities which can operate virtually to be allowed and encouraged.
  10. Rapid testing to be made available for school personnel through Education District Health ease of reference.
  11. The MoE to utilise existing procedures to restrict students identified as contacts to Covid- positive persons from attending school.
  12. All schools to be provided with at least one temporary staff member to assist in supervisory functions.
  13. Additional teacher support will be provided to temporarily fill teaching vacancies at schools and to provide supervisory support as needed based on the Individual School Reopening Plan.