January 4, 2021
Written by Tasha Ann Miller
School students went into the physical classroom space for the first time today as some schools reopened. It was a relief for some as they break from the pressures of adapting to online learning. Other students who continue to learn from home using the resource materials provided by the Ministry of Education will hope they can also return to face to face learning.
In the official January 2021 back to school message yesterday evening, Minister of Education, Fayval Williams, says 129 schools have now resumed face to face classes based on the results of the test program a few months ago. This approach of the phased resumption of schools reaped great success despite challenges with some schools administering COVID19 protocols. The effort continues to remain collaborative amongst the stakeholders in the Jamaican education sector as a unified force is needed to get the children learning again safely.
Online learning has presented its share of fatigue due to Jamaica’s underdeveloped internet infrastructure. Therefore, this method of learning will increasingly become less impactful until the root problem to improve broadband coverage is resolved.
In the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) framework for the reopening of schools, there was a focus on having consistent relations with parents at the community level of the plan. In local news broadcasts today, parents were positive and supportive of the measures implemented by the schools to collect children at the gate without allowing parents to move around within the confined school area. Therefore, parents must continue to encourage and support the efforts to get children learning again in a safe environment so that their educational development is not neglected.
The Hope Vision will continue to keep you updated on the latest news within the Jamaican and Caribbean education sector during the COVID19 pandemic. We will also be providing creative materials and ways for children to continue learning and advance their educational development. Despite the fears and dark times of the present, The Hope Vision sees a great opportunity to groom children into becoming resilient problem solving thinkers today as the future depends on them. Our children will be stronger, not broken, as we pray and put in the work together.