RECOMMENDATIONS were made for secondary schools to continue to allow Form 4-6 students to continue to attend classes physically in the second term of the current academic year.
This happened during a meeting between the Education Ministry and education stakeholders on Friday.
In a statement, the ministry said Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian led its team at that meeting.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Principals’ Associations, Denominational School Boards, Special Schools Associations, Private School Associations, the National Parent Teacher Association and TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA).
Secondary school students from Forms 4-6 have already been allowed to return to school for in-person classes, first vaccinated and then unvaccinated children. Students from Forms 1-3 are currently expected to return in January 2022.
During the meeting, education stakeholders said this arrangement should continue in the new term "with the possibility of Standard 5 attendance to be considered."
The ministry said, "A major factor influencing this recommendation is the increased student and teacher absenteeism being experienced due to the rise in positive covid19 cases nationally, and the resulting quarantine requirements."
The ministry will also consider the national health situation, regional and global education landscape, and the insightful recommendations of stakeholders as it continues to determineon of the operations of schools in the new term.
Stakeholders raised some concerns about the management of covid19 related matters at schools.
These included the close supervision required to ensure that students do not breach safety protocols; a request that results for covid19 testing of school personnel and students be given priority and the challenges of the rotational system arising out of social distance requirements, which limits school attendance, even for the Forms 4- 6 group.
In a release on Thursday, Open Schools TT said it will hold a silent protest at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain from 4.30-5.30 pm, to continue their lobby for these students to be able to physically return to school in January.