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Berkeley moves to online learning

The Berkeley Institute: Reverting to online learning.

The Berkeley Institute has reverted to online learning from today until the end of term next Wednesday.

A note sent out last night said that the decision was taken because of parents’ and pupils’ concerns over Covid-19, although there have been no cases of exposure linked to the school.

A Ministry of Education spokeswoman said today the move was made so that learning can continue uninterrupted.

She explained: “The school has been fortunate not to have any positive cases of Covid-19 among its population however the impact of various quarantining orders within the community and at other schools has had a knock on effect on the number of faculty that are able to come to campus.

“As of yesterday, approximately 20 per cent of the teaching staff had been affected and asked to quarantine with their school age children.

“Fortunately, these staff are still available to teach in the remote environment.”

Craig Bridgewater, the chairman of The Berkeley Institute Board of Governors, said that a meeting was held with the ministry last night to find “solutions to the challenges Berkeley faced as a result of staff resource issues”.

He added: “A robust discussion ensued with potential solutions put forward to address the extraordinarily high number of staff who are unable to be on campus directly interacting with the students.

“We are pleased to announce that the Minister of Education, after careful consideration of the options put forward, has agreed to the Berkeley Institute transitioning to a remote learning environment for the remainder of this term.”

Mr Bridgewater thanked the Berkeley Institute leadership team and staff “for assisting with the supervision of students during these challenging times”.

He added that S1 to S4 pupils moved to remote learning this morning and that it would remain in place until at least the end of term on December 16.

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, said: “It is important to assure the public that there have not been any cases of exposure to Covid-19 at The Berkeley Institute.

“I am happy that we were able to sit and discuss this issue with the chairman and the principal last night.

“The decision to transition to remote learning is not one that was taken lightly as we understand the challenges in doing so presents to parents and caregivers.

“These challenges are not limited to the Berkeley Institute, and the department is working to address these and other issues that have arisen as a result of the recent school closings.”

He added that education officials continued to work with the Ministry of Health “to provide the best way forward and to keep our students, teachers and staff safe”.

Covid-19 saliva tests for Berkeley Institute staff were offered at the school between 11am and 1pm today.

A number of other schools, including CedarBridge Academy and Saltus Grammar School’s senior department, have stopped in-person learning after students were exposed to positive coronavirus cases.

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Published December 08, 2020 at 2:05 pm (Updated December 08, 2020 at 2:04 pm)

Berkeley moves to online learning

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