Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

A new medical unit will be established before the new school term begins to assess COVID-19 data.

So said Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsy-Dolly as she vowed that the lessons learnt in this term, will be applied in the new term.

Agreeing that the September-December 2020 term was not perfect, Gadsby-Dolly said, “Teachers, parents, students, MOE officials and other education stakeholders collaborated to give our children the best possible chance at learning for Term 1 2020/21. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t perfect, but it went a long way to give our children a sense of certainty, discipline and structure in a difficult time.”

As the country prepares, Gadsby-Dolly explained, “The Ministry will be capitalizing on the learnings as we start Term 2 virtually, even as we prepare for Phase 1 of physical reopening.”

Among the new measures coming are the establishment of the medical unit and the outfitting of all schools with sanitization equipment.

She noted that the Ministry will be seeking ebook options for students, procurement and delivery of devices, optimization of the Learning Management System and training of teachers in the creation of online lessons.

She added that the Ministry will also have a compilation of the Consultation 2020 report, preparation of sample 2021 SEA papers and discussions with CXC surrounding the format of 2021 exams.

“All of these processes and more are ongoing at the Ministry at this time to ensure that we institutionalise the gains made and improve on areas of weakness going forward,” she added.

She noted that the draft Guidelines for the Physical Reopening of Schools document was sent out in November.

“It has been critiqued by our stakeholders, we have met on it, along with the Ministry of Health and a second draft is being formulated for comment,” she said.

She noted that the document will be finalised by the second week of January so that all stakeholders will be on the same page moving forward.