At the beginning of this academic year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST) postponed the transition to hybrid learning, due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and the absence of approved vaccinations for our students. At the time of that announcement, the Ministry had also pledged to work on reopening some schools for hybrid learning, come October 4th.
In keeping with that pledge and thanks to vaccination efforts, and keeping in mind the rates of transmission of the virus in some communities, the MoECST is pleased to announce that some schools will be given the Green Light to reopen for hybrid learning beginning on October 4, 2021. The selection of those schools will be based on the following criteria:
1) Geographic location of the school and the level of virus transmission in that area
2) Teacher vaccination status for the school
3) Student vaccination status for the school (considering eligible students)
4) Physical readiness of the campus to accommodate students with the required protocols
5) Community context of the school and the need for a return to the classroom.
The MoECST recognises that the COVID-19 realities for each school community are dynamic, and that data collection is a new process. The goal is for us to remain aware of our realities, to have a structure within which our schools can operate, and to stay connected and supportive of one another during these challenging times. No plan is perfect, and no one plan can suit everyone. We fully anticipate that the status of some schools will change, from Green to Yellow to Red and back again, in the coming months. But we will begin, as best we can, to manage our new reality of hybrid education. And we will do this because our children need to return to the classroom, even if it is only for a few days per week or a few hours per day.
The health and safety of our school community is always our priority. We encourage every student, teacher, administrator, and staff member to remain mindful of the need to wear your mask properly, wash or sanitise your hands frequently, and watch your distance consistently. We encourage everyone 12 years and older to get vaccinated.
This is our best chance at getting everyone back into the classroom.
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