Conditional date for reopening is April 12
April 12 is the conditional date that has been set for the reopening of schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
This is according to a statement from the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation, which was released yesterday.
The education ministry’s release said all teachers will be required to return to their respective schools for the period, March 17 to March 19 from 9 am to 3 pm.
“The primary concern of the Ministry of Education is for students and teachers to operate in a conducive environment, where all students are able to experience the benefits of quality education. The period March 17 to 19, 2021 will be used for professional development purposes and consultation on the evolving protocols for the anticipated school term,” it said.
Schools remained closed for the second term of the school year, which was scheduled to begin in January, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases locally.
It was later declared that there was community transmission.
Students across the nation have since been attending classes virtually, with the exception of some fourth and fifth form students who returned to the classroom in late February to complete practical portions of their School Based Assessments (SBA).
Top officials in the ministries of education and health went to Cabinet this week to discuss the reopening of schools with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who said on Wednesday that in his personal view, local schools can be reopened.
“I think all the circumstances are propitious, all the circumstances are properly aligned for us to go back to school…without us worrying about the, quote, unquote, further spread of COVID,” he said during an NBC radio programme.
He also said that “…other than the cluster which we have had at the Mental Health centre, the numbers have been falling significantly. In fact, on a couple of days, Sunday and Monday, there was zero”.
With this focus on health and safety, the Ministry of Health and the Environment has agreed to deploy teams to all schools to facilitate the vaccination of teachers during the professional development period.
“All teachers are encouraged to vaccinate in an effort to mitigate against the pandemic. The Ministry of Education will be guided by the Ministry of Health and the adherence to the science of the management of COVID-19 on the reopening of schools. Let us continue to work as one people to overcome and rise above the challenges of COVID-19,” the release said.