One hundred and twenty nine (129) schools have been approved by the education ministry for the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning, in the new term.
In a statement last evening, portfolio minister Fayval Williams said the decision was made following the October to December 2020 pilot programme, in some schools.
She said the approved schools have been allowed a two week period from January 4 to 18 to fine tune their preparations for face to face engagement.
Outlining plans for the new school term which starts next Monday January 4, Mrs. Williams, said education is still compulsory.
In providing an update to the E-Covid task force and principals of schools approved for face-to-face teaching, she said all students and teachers are expected to utilize one, or a combination, of the ministry’s approaches to ensure that the education of students continues despite the covid-19 pandemic.
She also encouraged parents and the wider community to get children off the streets and engaged in school work using the different modalities available for teaching and learning.
She said no child in Jamaica of school age should be seen sitting around idly, or be on the road going to the corner shop, or doing house work during school time, which is designated as 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The minister pointed out that children who were not using any of the available teaching / learning engagement were in danger of falling way behind.
As for exams, Mrs. Williams notes that the focus for the new term is the preparation of children for their exit exams: namely, the CXC’s CSEC & CAPE, City and Guilds, NCTVET and PEP.
She said grade 6 students at the primary level are scheduled to sit the first of two components of the PEP exam – the ability test, on February 23.
The ministry will also be offering additional special learning interventions.
A mobile student support initiative will also be launched on January 18, to focus on the students who have not been consistently engaged in the last school term.
In addition, the ministry says it will be providing after-school classes to small groups of five for two hours, twice per week, using the schools, church halls, community centres, USF community access points, the Jamaica Library Service locations and other temporary learning spaces.
Mrs. Williams said the ministry will also launch the learning kit challenger and learning kit motivator for those students who are performing below expectation.