Ministry of Education's offices in Port of Spain.

Following unilateral disappointment by various education stakeholders over a lack of consultation when guidelines for the reopening of schools were released by the Ministry of Education earlier this month, the ministry convened a meeting with them yesterday.

The ministry said the stakeholders’ concerns were ventilated and would be compiled for further discussion at a later meeting.

Present yesterday were the National Advisory Committee on Education, T&T Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), National Primary Schools Principals Association (NAPSPA), the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) and the Association of Denominational Boards.

A release from the ministry said topics discussed included teacher training, physical distancing, rotation of students, home-based learning, Ministry of Health Guidelines and “other areas of concern.”

“It was agreed that the National Advisory Committee will compile all suggestions made and a subsequent meeting will be convened on August 4th where a final document will be presented for review on all educational matters related to COVID-19,” the statement said.

Also coming out of the meeting, the ministry noted, was “resounding praise for the teachers, principals, parents and various groups/individuals who contributed to all schools being able to resume operations on Monday 20th July” to help prepare students for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) on August 20.

The ministry assured it would continue to engage stakeholders “to facilitate the successful reopening of all schools for the new term” and “will continue to adapt and adjust the education sector to fit the new realities presented by COVID-19.”