The Ministry of Education has said the second term of the school year, which begins on January 4, will continue virtually.
The ministry made the announcement in a statement on Monday, after the Prime Minister first said so on December 5 at a press conference.
It said shortly after the home-based reopening of schools, the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) January exams are set to begin and will run from January 17 to February 4.
It also said the ministry has proposed a “phased physical reopening.” Phase one is being finalised now. This physical reopening is set to begin on February 8, for students preparing for examinations (Standard 5 and Forms 4-6).
It said students should wear masks and the school day will be shortened.
The proposal also includes a Ministry of Education Health Unit to be set up in each education district which will include at least one county medical officer of health and eight nurses.
“This unit, in collaboration with School Health and Safety Officers," it said, "will manage the health protocols at schools.”
Schools will be required to set up a parallel system for students who are not returning to the physical classroom.
The statement said a second draft of the guidelines will be circulated by December 1 and will be followed by a stakeholders' meeting in the first week of January.
A final version of the proposal will be issued within the second week of January.