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Face to face instruction fully in place at the GHS

Face to face instruction fully in place at the GHS
Some students at the Girls’ High School were seen on Tuesday moving desks and chairs to the correct classrooms, while others seem to be taking in the atmosphere at the new facility. (Photos: Robertson Henry)

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The much anticipated return to face-to-face classes for the Girls High School (GHS), and sections of the St Vincent Grammar School took place on Wednesday morning November 3, 2021. With new, temporary classrooms at the decommissioned E.T. Joshua airport tarmac, many students, teachers, and parents were curious to see how things would work.

Face to face instruction fully in place at the GHS
One of the school buses that transported students from the Leeward side of the island to the new school facility at the decommissioned E T Joshua airport site.

From as early as 7:00 a.m., students and staff from both schools began arriving. The St. Vincent Grammar School accommodated only the form 5’s, while the Girls High School had a full body of students.

One parent of a GHS student remarked that, “Certain statements were made on Monday night at an online meeting, so I came here prepared to take my daughter back home if these statements were true.”

She said that from what she saw, she is pleased, taking into consideration the time in which the school buildings had to be constructed. However she felt the contractors should have been given an additional week to finish the work.

Another parent said that it was the first time she was able to see the school buildings first hand and expressed her surprise at the layout of the school.

“The school is beautiful and has more space. It is a pity that they would have to break it down. We cannot have everything all at the same time, and in this Covid time, we the parents must be glad that our children can go back to school.”

At the Girls’ High School children and teachers were santitized by the security guard on duty, and a number of students had their vaccination cards with them.

One parent told SEARCHLIGHT : “This is to make sure that they know where we stand, and those teachers who do not want to be vaccinated, would know that we take that very seriously.”

One father was not happy that they had so little time to prepare students to return to school. The announcement that phase two of the plan for resumption of classes was to take effect from November 1, was made over the last weekend.

The parent said he felt that at least two weeks’ notice should have been given to parents, but in the end “our children are back to the classroom.”

He acknowledged that a “fairly good” job was done, and the buildings are well laid out; but said there will be a few problems as students and staff settle into the new buildings, and he hopes that the ministry of education ensures that any corrective work needed is done quickly.

The students at the Girls High School were full of energy after having to cope with online teaching for some time. They quickly found their assigned classrooms and assisted in ensuring that the furniture was properly placed.

The Ministry of Education is providing transportation for students from the leeward areas of the mainland to get to and from school at Arnos Vale. Students await one of the school buses at the bus stop near to the GHS to be transported to Arnos Vale and are taken back to the bus stop at the end of the school day.

Education Minister Curtis King who visited the new school plant, asked the staff to document any issues so that necessary corrective measures can be made.

King said he was pleased that face-to-face learning is finally happening again, and he hopes that the health protocols will be strictly enforced.