EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said draft documents have been prepared for the resumption of face-to-face schooling.
She was speaking on Thursday night at the PNM virtual post-budget meet-up.
She said the ministry has guidelines for when the school starts a face-to-face term. She expected it to be a blended environment and not everyone would be physically present at the same time because of physical distancing requirements. She did not say which term would see the resumption of face-to-face learning but did say it was time to re-engage it.
Gadsby-Dolly said the documents will be provided to education stakeholders to take a look at them and pronounce on them so when the guidelines are presented to teachers they would have had the benefit of stakeholder input.
She also said the curriculum adjustment strategy has been prepared and the ministry will be speaking with stakeholders about the adjustments to the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam for 2021 and 2021, including a change in date.
She recalled in 2016 there was national conversation on education and in November 2020 there will be a new conversation on curriculum reform, SEA, the Concordat and the role of the Teaching Service Commission. She said some stakeholders have already sent in their contributions and she was looking forward to more consultations on the business of education.
She also announced the ministry was in talks with TSTT and Digicel about launching low-cost packages to provide students with connectivity, adding that it was not only about the provision of devices.
She said in this time the teachers have really stepped up to the plate, and the training courses that have been provided were oversubscribed.
"We recognise the efforts of our teachers and applaud them."
She also commended parents who have become part-time teachers themselves.
Not everyone was on board as they should be, she admitted, but if all stakeholders do their best, this will provide the best chance for the children not to be left behind during these pandemic times.