Jamaica To Resume Full Face-To-Face Classes Effective March 7 2022

Jamaica To Resume Full Face-To-Face Classes Effective March 7 2022

Jamaica’s Ministry of Education and Youth has approved the full resumption of face-to-face learning effective Monday, March 7.

Minister of Education, Youth, and Information Fayval Williams said, “To aid in the preparation of institutions, additional funds are being disbursed for sanitization and procurement of furniture where needed.”

She further stated, “documentation is being prepared to ensure the timely payment of the fourth tranche of the funding grants, which is due in April.”

Several sectors in Jamaica have been actively preparing to return to face-to-face classes. The most important is the transportation sector, which has taken a significant financial hit since the onset of COVID-19.

Parents across Jamaica have also been preparing to ensure their children have uniforms, books, and other resources to return to the classroom.

The Ministry, in a bulletin, said school administrators are reminded that the Ministry must approve all institutions of Health and Wellness for in-person classes.

The “three to six feet” social/physical distancing condition has been relaxed, which means classroom seating can be arranged to reflect the usual spacing of desks and chairs before the COVID-19 restrictions. In classrooms where the three to six feet rule has been eased, there should be increased vigilance and monitoring of the students for mask-wearing, temperature checks, and any signs of illness.

School administrators must continue utilizing isolation centers where there are signs of illness and continue to work closely with health professionals, including parish health inspectors.

They should also prepare a space and use the protocols to isolate and treat students and staff who may become ill or show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, wash stations must be installed in strategic locations as guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and staff, parents, and students should be sensitized about the safety protocols.

School administrators should also ensure compliance with wearing masks and frequent washing of hands, facilitate regular and structured mask breaks, and maximize the use of open spaces in a structured manner.

The bulletin from the Education Ministry further said all persons who enter the school grounds daily should have their temperature taken.

Entry may be granted where the person’s temperature is 37°C and below. Where the temperature is 37.5°C to 37.9°C, the person must be isolated for five to 10 minutes, and the temperature rechecked.

Where the temperature is 38°C or above, the individual should be taken to the isolation area, after which the ill-person procedure must be implemented.

Schools were also reminded to develop plans for using and distributing essential equipment and materials such as temperature check devices, hand-washing solutions/stations, masks, alcohol, sanitizers, and other personal protective equipment.

Staff must be deployed to clean and disinfect/sanitize school buildings, classrooms, and other facilities before school resumption and according to a daily routine while school is in operation. In addition, schools are advised to organize blitzes to ensure complete vaccination of all stakeholders.

Where necessary, timetables must be modified to ensure that teachers are appropriately deployed to deal with the students.

Psychosocial sessions must be timetabled for all students and teachers to cope with the demands due to the pandemic.