Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly visited QRC to observe COVID-19 protocols in place.

All facilities are in place for Monday’s phased reopening of schools in keeping with COVID-19 protocols.

Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dollay gave the assurance in Parliament yesterday as she said that most schools would have had sanitisation stations installed last year and it’s also expected that transport arrangements will be put in place for students from Monday onwards.

Students in Forms 4 to 6 would be back in the classrooms on Monday.

Gadsby-Dolly explained, “Most schools would have had sanitisation stations installed in 2020 to accommodate CXC and SEA examinations in July and August 2020.

“As a matter of priority, all secondary schools which have indicated the need for additional or replacement stations have been supplied with sanitisation stations.”

She said San Juan South and Five Rivers Secondary schools will be outfitted before Monday.

Primary schools and Early Childhood Care Centres which require additional sanitisation stations are currently being outfitted with this also.

She added repairs to the Couva West Secondary school’s water and sewer pumps have also been completed after they were damaged by an electrical power surge. She said the school has a water supply for sanitisation.

But during an interview with Guardian Media, the minister admitted that infrastructural issues may arise at some secondary shools once students return especially since the buildings have not been utilised in months.

“School repair is a continuous and ongoing process,” the minister told Guardian Media.

She said that her ministry and the National Maintenance Training and Security Company Limited (MTS) will be on the alert to ensure that reports from principals about school repairs will be dealt with expeditiously.

Speaking in Parliament, the Minister said her ministry also recognises the need to provide transport for students and as such had requested data on the number of students requiring this service.

“Therefore the information requested regarding the number of students to be transported has come in from schools this week and the number of vehicles required for transport based on social distancing protocols is now being finalised by the Public Transport Service Corporation,” she said.

“It’s expected that arrangements will be put in place for school transportation to begin during the week of February 8-12,” she added.

On Monday, students in Forms four to six Secondary school students will reopen using a hybrid system which means online classes will continue and students will report to school for the completion of Practicals, SBAs and Internal Assessments.

Online classes for all students resumed in September 2020.

The phased reopening, once all goes well, should continue on April 12 when schools would be reopened for Standards four and five students.