Parents to hear details on remote learning
Work continues to allow public school pupils to continue their studies despite schools being shuttered, the national security minister said today.
Wayne Caines said that the Ministry of Education was “working towards implementing remote learning for the island’s public school students”.
He added: “There are a few elements to this — there is a curriculum piece, there is making sure that we have the bandwidth piece.”
Mr Caines said that specific information would be provided to parents through the Ministry of Education.
He added: “I don’t want to pre-empt any official notification with any information until it goes through the natural channels that have been established by the Minister of Education.”
The comment came at a press conference to give the public an “operational update” from the Emergency Measures Organisation.
David Burt, the Premier, announced last night that all public schools would be closed until April 6 amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Caines was asked what would happen to children who were out of the classroom who were unable to be looked after by parents.
He said that he understood that some people in essential services would be forced to go to work.
Mr Caines added: “We know that people have family members, people have loved ones, people have a community of support.
“We have to call on the good grace of those in our community to help out at this specific time.”
He said: “This is a time for community to come together — understanding what social distancing looks like, understanding what quarantine looks like, understanding what the needs of our community are — we have to put together a system that allows us to help each other.
“We need to make sure that people are out of harm’s way, and that they are off the streets, and that they are home.”
But he said: “We cannot tell you what that specifically looks like for your family.
“We can tell you that this is an opportunity to show the best of who were are.”
Llewellyn Simmons, the action education commissioner, said yesterday that plans were being put in place for remote learning.
He explained: “Preparation includes the development of hard copies of learning packets and/or improved support for information technology for remote learning.
“Internet access, an e-mail address and a student and parent PowerSchool account are needed for remote learning.”
Dr Simmons said that remote learning would have pupils receive “weekly teaching assignments, to login to PowerSchool when required, to complete tasks during the week, to communicate with other students if asked, and to continue the learning process”. He added: “The continuous learning by each student will be critically important for upcoming pre-scheduled tests and examinations.”
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said last Thursday that a plan had been developed from earlier virus scares.
He told a press conference at the time: “We are in the process of reviewing that plan.
“Rest assured that we do have a contingency plan that’s being worked on and will be ready within the next few days.”
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