THA Secretary of Education Marslyn Melville-Jack said schools are in the process of completing their checklist for readiness ahead of the resumption of face-to-face classes at primary schools on April 12.
At Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing, Melville-Jack said approximately 1,017 students are eligible to sit the June 10 SEA exams, adding that this figure is an increase from 2020’s figure of 974.
She said: “The 33 government and government-assisted primary schools and the five registered primary schools which are private have all completed their initial registration and verification requirements of the Ministry of Education. At this time, the school environment checklist for readiness of the physical environment is at various schools, and principals are now in the process of completing those forms.”
She said the school supervisory unit at the division continues to provide the necessary support and guidance in preparation for SEA. She added that there are some critical issues which the division intend to address to ensure a smooth reopening.
“The procurement of hand sanitisers, hand soaps and paper towel refills; the procurement of folding beds and cots for the isolation rooms; the repairs and servicing of photocopiers; the repair of some school infrastructure; the procurement of social distancing stickers; ensuring that all schools have been assigned with their requisite number of cleaning personnel; the procurement and installation of standing thermal scanners; increased internet access points at some primary schools and the supply of disposable masks to each primary school.”
All nine secondary schools resumed face-to-face learning for forms four to six on February 8, as required for the completion of the school-based assessments (SBA), laboratory practicals and internal assessments.
She said the division is in the process of procuring tents for secondary schools to be used as isolation areas for students exhibiting flu-like symptoms on arrival.
“At present, seven secondary schools have allotted designated areas for use as isolation areas in the interim. Two schools have already procured tents to be used as their isolation areas; those two schools are Bishop’s High School and Scarborough Secondary School.”
She added that to date, sanitising products have been provided to all secondary schools and the installation of sneeze guards at the cafeterias in secondary schools are currently ongoing. Installation, she said, has been completed at seven of the nine secondary schools.
In the interim, she said that work continues apace to have all laboratories at secondary schools ready in time for the May/June examinations.
Regarding the division's response to online and blended learning, she said that the division has ordered 3,000 tablets and 1,000 laptops for ECCE, primary schools and secondary schools. The division has so far received 1,660 devices which have already been distributed to primary schools, while NGOs, corporate bodies and private citizens have also assisted in acquiring additional devices. A further 1,000 devices, ordered by the division, will soon be cleared and ready for distribution to secondary schools.