FORM One students began their secondary school life, in a virtual setting on Monday, taking up classes online from home rather than in the secondary schools they passed for since covid19 restrictions remain in effect. Not all Form One students started class on Monday but they are expected to do so later in the week.
President of the Secondary School Principals Association Ronald Mootoo said following the advice of the Ministry of Education, classes will start this week, but not all would be on Monday. “Some schools started with orientation today and (will) gradually transition into teaching later in the week.”
He said principals are not anticipating too many issues, other than that of students without devices or access to connectivity. “It’s the same issues; other than that teachers are more proficient (in e-learning) than they were in September so the transition is not that difficult anymore, really.”
He said, however, that some of the schools are encountering problems with photocopiers and other printing equipment broken or breaking down. “Preparing packages material is becoming difficult and some schools may even have to abort it because the equipment cannot withstand the amount of copies that need to be made.”
He said donations are scarce right now and those who donate already have their schools of preference. “The majority of government schools receive very little by way of donation or other sponsorships.”
Principal of Queen's Royal College (QRC) David Simon said this year’s form one cohort was very well received. Students registered last week Wednesday and orientation was held on Friday with students and parents. “I think (orientation) was very well received because we had close to 100 per cent turn out of form ones.”
He said on their first day back, they held a special assembly for student where they met with their dean and had training sessions on how to navigate the online platform they will be using in their virtual classes, google suite.the r remainder of their day was spent familiarising themselves with the suite.
Contacted for comment, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly told Newsday in a WhatsApp message: "The MoE has received no report of any untoward issues with respect to the start of school for Forms 1."