Covid-19: return to remote learning for schools not ruled out
The education minister tonight signalled the public school system could move to remote learning if coronavirus cases continued to increase.
Diallo Rabain said: "The decision to move to remote learning is not to be made lightly as the massive disruption to students' learning, and their parents' livelihood, must be considered.“
But he warned: “Although this decision is not to be made lightly, we are prepared to make the decision if the Department of Health deems it necessary for the safety of our country."
Mr Rabain added it was “essential to provide confidence to the public that the Covid-19 regulations in schools were ”working as designed“.
He highlighted that pupils and staff at Purvis Primary School in Warwick were tested today and pupils and staff at Northlands Primary in Pembroke were tested on Friday, although the results had not yet come back.
But he said: "We are pleased to report that Whitney Institute was tested on Thursday and Paget Primary was tested on Friday, with all results returning negative.“
Mr Rabain added that many people had asked about the possibility of a return to home-based virtual education, which was used last December.
He said: “Unfortunately, in December, due to so many schools in quarantine, there was not enough staff to open schools.”
But he added that “refined” Covid-19 procedures and the new saliva test regime, used to check entire schools, had “proven to be very effective and shows that the bubble protocols, when adhered to, are effective”.
Mr Rabain said: “Additionally, we can quickly isolate a class or classes and still have a school operate while those bubbles are quarantined and learning by remote."