Private schools to go back to the classroom
Private school pupils will go back to their classrooms for the start of the new term, it was announced yesterday.
But public schoolchildren will be learning at home from today until at least January 12.
Pupils at Mount Saint Agnes Academy were back at their desks yesterday and Bermuda High School and Saltus Grammar School pupils will return today.
Warwick Academy and Somersfield Academy youngsters are scheduled to return to the classroom on January 11.
Kendaree Burgess, the chief executive of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation had not received any complaints about the public schools shutdown from its members, but she understood that people might be frustrated.
She added: “From a business perspective, it is tricky managing staff who may be required to stay home.
“I would advise them to have a back up plan for that eventuality where possible.”
The education ministry said earlier that the Education Emergency Measures Committee would meet this week to decide what would happen after January 12.
A spokeswoman said at the time: “The Department of Education has received feedback from parents and guardians of young children who may not have adequate childcare arrangements and cannot work from home during remote learning.
“Health Department guidelines and constraints now preclude the Department of Education from offering any programmes for children during this time.
“As a first resort, affected parents and guardians are urged to reach out to their family support network for assistance.
“The department is engaged in conversations with employer groups and are pleased that they too empathise with the plight of affected parents and guardians and are willing to be supportive within the confines of existing employment legislation and collective bargaining agreements.
“We urge affected parents to also approach their employers and discuss their specific challenges.
“Likewise, we would urge all employers to consider all options that would meet the needs of their employees at such a challenging time.“