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Academic recovery programme to address learning loss due to Covid

Academic recovery programme to  address learning loss due to Covid
Left to Right: Curtis King, Minister of Education & Terrance Ollivierre, Opposition parliamentarian and representative for the Southern Grenadines

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The Ministry of Education is currently working on an academic recovery programme, that will provide a multipronged approach to address the issue of learning lost due to the COVID19 pandemic.

This was disclosed by Curtis King, the Minister of Education during the Question-and-Answer portion of the sitting of the House of Parliament last Tuesday where he was asked several education related questions by Terrance Ollivierre, the parliamentary representative for the Southern Grenadines.

Ollivierre, who is also the opposition’s shadow Minister of Education, said in one of his questions that a lot of instructional time has been lost as a result of the closure of schools due to the pandemic and implementation of e-learning.

He asked for Minister King to state how much instructional time has been lost and how the lost time will be made up.

“It is not practical to quantify the instructional time that has been lost nationally due to the change from face-to-face instruction to online instruction. I’m therefore unable to provide a specific figure on the number of instructional hours lost by our students,” the Education Minister said in response.

Schools remained closed after the Christmas holiday due to a spike in COVID19 cases locally. Health officials later announced that there was community spread in SVG and students have been engaged in e-learning since the start of the second term in January.

King said on Tuesday that “we can all agree that our students have experienced significant loss of instructional time because of the pandemic and the implementation of e-learning in schools”.

The Minister mentioned the academic recovery programme, and said it is being developed with the support of the OECS, with funding received from the Global Partnership for Education – the only global fund solely dedicated to education in developing countries.

The Ministry of Education announced last week in a press release that the conditional date for the return to the physical classroom is April 12.

Ollivierre asked King on Tuesday about the protocols that have been put in place for teachers and students to safely return to school, and whether all teachers were required to be vaccinated before they return to the classroom.

The Education Minister responded by saying that the protocols are being updated in preparation for the return to school.

He added that the ministry has asked all teachers to return to school from March 17 to 19, 2021 to begin preparatory work for the impending reopening in April.

“We have concluded the process of sensitising our teachers on the COVID19 vaccines and we are confident that the government has provided a vaccine and thus we are asking all teachers to take the vaccine,” King said.

He however noted that taking the vaccine is not mandatory.