The Ministry of Education has put in place new guidelines for the period April 30th – May 23rd for Secondary School students. The following is a press release from the Ministry of Education:
The Ministry of Education takes this opportunity to indicate that under the COVID-19 regulations in force from April 30th – May 23rd , 2021, Secondary Schools are allowed to conduct face to face sessions for students of Forms 5 & 6 only where ABSOLUTELY necessary to complete practical subject components for 2021 examinations.
Please be advised that school-feeding and transport will not be available from April 30th – May 23rd, 2021, due to the large variability in numbers of students accessing face to face school during this time.
All other Secondary, Primary and ECCE students should continue with the online or package systems. Schools will continue to operate under strict COVID-19 Guidelines and should take all recommended safety precautions. All educational material provided by the Ministry of Education via television, radio, print media and online will continue to be available for student and parent access.
Further details of school operations are re-iterated below:
Secondary Schools will continue to conduct face to face sessions for Forms 5&6 students ONLY utilizing a hybrid system.
The hybrid system entails:
§ Online classes / packages for teaching to continue.
§ Students to report to school for the completion of Practicals, SBAs and Internal Assessments ONLY where necessary.
All other secondary school students are not to report physically for school.
Primary and ECCE Schools
At the primary and ECCE levels, NO Students will return to their physical classrooms. All classes should be held virtually and students who require packages shall utilize their usual method of collection with all safety protocols observed.
General Operations for ALL Schools
1. Entry protocols to be enforced must include:
§ The wearing of school uniform
§ Masks must be worn at all times except for the purpose of eating and drinking
§ Temperature checks
§ Collection of contact tracing data in the case of visitors to the compound (Visitors to the school compound must be kept to a minimum)
2 Schools must have a designated quarantine area
Students who display flu-like symptoms should be assigned to the quarantine area to await pick-up. Teachers, health and safety officers, security officers or staff may identify these students to the principal.
3 Schools must follow specific safety protocols in the following circumstances (as explained in the MOE’s Guidelines document)
§ Staff or student displays flu-like symptoms
§ Staff or student tests positive for COVID-19
§ Staff or student is identified as a primary contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
§ Medial clearance is required for staff or student to re-enter the school population after being suspected/confirmed to have contracted COVID-19
§ Medical clearance is required for staff or students to enter the school population if another medical condition (e.g. allergies) is causing the display of flu-like symptoms (which would result in being barred from entry to the school compound)
4 Six feet distancing must be enforced in teaching spaces
5 No whole-school assemblies to be held
6 Breaks, including lunch times, should be staggered
7 Students should be allowed to eat at their desks in classrooms to avoid congregation where necessary
8 Sharing of materials such as books, stationery, snacks or sanitizers among or between students should not be permitted.
9 Schools are authorized to operate during normal school hours
10 Parents are obligated to inform the school if students begin displaying flu-like symptoms at home or if students have been identified as primary contacts
11 Schools will be provided with complete Guidelines for Physical Reopening and these should be carefully adhered to.
12 Schools should make a practice of repeating safety guidelines multiple times during the school day as a reminder to staff and students of the protocols to be kept. These can also be used as sanitization breaks for the students to use their personal hand sanitizers.
13 Schools should ensure that parents are apprised of the safety protocols and procedures in operation and enlist their support in reinforcing same with their children.
The established Education District Health Unit will continue to operate as follows:
§ Each school district in Trinidad has been assigned district nurses with direct responsibility for being the liaison between schools and the relevant units of the MOH to facilitate and expedite communication between principals, supervisors and the MOH. Tobago has made their arrangements.
§ The Education District Health Unit will facilitate medical clearance for the entry/ re-entry of students to schools where necessary.
§ This Unit will also have responsibility, in collaboration with the Health and Safety Unit of the MOE, for ensuring that arrangements are in place at schools for COVID -19 protocols to be enforced.