Employers should back staff with children forced to learn at home
Employers have been asked to be considerate to staff whose children will return to remote learning this week because of the increase in Covid-19 cases.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said: “We want parents to know that we recognise that the decision to start school remotely is not ideal.
“It is a difficult decision as it requires many parents and guardians to make personal and professional adjustments and sacrifices to support their children’s learning.
“During this time, we encourage Bermuda’s employers to demonstrate empathy and do what they can to support parents who are required to assist with their children’s remote learning.”
Mr Rabain added that schools had sent information to parents about the relaunch of remote learning and Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, would release further information tomorrow.
He said that donated Chromebook computers will be delivered to P4, P5 and P6 pupils.
Mr Rabain added: “The collection process will be communicated to parents by the school principal.
“Parents can expect strict safety and health protocols to be in place during collection.”
Mr Rabain added that the ministry wanted pupils and staff to get tested for Covid-19.
He said: “Although at this time testing is not mandatory, we are seeking the co-operation of staff and our parents to ensure that staff and students get tested so that we can make decisions about whether to continue with remote learning, in-person learning, or a combination of both.
“We also want to reduce the potential for staff and students to transmit the virus to others, and the testing data will enable us to do this.
“The testing schedule is being finalised and will be communicated before the weekend.”
Mr Rabain added the ministry hoped to open schools once it was safe and adequate staff numbers were available.
He added: “While this may not be the start we envisioned, we will work together and focus on positively supporting one another through this process.”
Schools were scheduled to open with face-to-face teaching tomorrow but the recent increase in Covid-19 cases forced a rethink.
Mr Rabain said earlier this week there were 119 staff absent across 31 schools.
The number of staff in quarantine was said to be a major contributor to the shortfall.