Burt confident on reopening of schools
David Burt is confident that physical distancing will be able to be maintained in schools in the upcoming academic year.
The Premier was speaking at yesterday’s Covid-19 press conference at The Berkeley Institute.
He said: “We have to be confident that we are able to live by the rules which we have set out.
“It may not be 100 per cent but we will strive for 100 per cent.
“The alternative is not having our children return back to school which I don’t think is acceptable — you can see the harm to children’s mental health and educational development [when not physically attending school].
“Though we have done a lot of remote instruction and it has worked very well, I think that we are looking forward to children returning back to school buildings.
“I am sure we will be able to handle it well and the Minister of Education [Diallo Rabain] in conjunction with the Minister of Health [Kim Wilson] will work through what is necessary to make it a reality.”
The Royal Gazette reported this week that a primary schoolteacher feared that students in at least one primary school would have to sit in hallways in order for physical distancing to be maintained.
Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, said he had been invited by Linda Parker, Head of School at Bermuda High School to view its International Baccalaureate programme and had sat in session.
He said: “I could see that this is a new normal for us but I could also see that the school’s planning team had put in a lot of work in place to work with the physical distancing in the schools. I could see how the students were working differently and I could see that it is our new normal but we can do it.
Mr Caines said he met regularly with Mr Rabain who is on the ministerial sub-committee that is dealing with the matter of physical distancing in schools.
Mr Caines added: “This is at the forefront of his mind. His team are working on a plan that we believe can be executed in the fall.”
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