Education Minister: ‘We are ready for a term of renewal’, ESS delayed Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

With schools reopening without mask mandates today, January 10, 2023, the Minister of Education is assuring parents, students and all stakeholders that her Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training is “ready for a term of renewal.

“Mask-wearing is optional. A new grooming policy is being implemented. The National Nutritional Policy for Schools is being introduced.”

Ellerslie Secondary School is scheduled to open on Monday, January 16

She said that “it was since 2019 that our children and our school communities have not enjoyed the full freedom of movement at school and on the playgrounds during school hours and after school hours, without the restrictions of social distancing or masks. Masks now, in this school term are no longer mandatory in schools. They are now optional and it will be at the discretion of parents and guardians to determine whether or not your children will wear masks at school and on the school bus.”

COVID-19 and the flu are still in our communities

Nevertheless, with all protocols dropped, Minister Kay McConney is appealing to parents to keep sick children or children with symptoms of illness at home. “Illness may not only make your child vulnerable to contracting other illnesses, it can also put other persons at risk. So let’s look out for each other…

“And we ask that all in our school communities continue to exercise personal responsibility for the safety of yourselves and all around you. Remember COVID-19 and the flu are still in our communities and we still need to continue to sanitise in school and to use our best judgement to safeguard our health.”

This term is a full return for physical education and “structure, supervised” after-school extra curricula.

All schools with the exception of The Ellerslie School (ESS) will resume today, with the full complement of students.

“Ellerslie Secondary School is scheduled to open on Monday, January 16. Why the delay? Because as many of you may be aware there were some concerns raised with regard to the infrastructure and repairs that needed to be done at the school and work was undertaken to repair the school during the Christmas period, and many of you would also know there was a tremendous amount of rain, so the inclement weather delayed us completing the repairs on Ellerslie School,” she explained.

The minister further indicated that she has been assured that the principal will be putting in place and communicating with parents over the course of the day “instructions with regards to the rest of the week” on how and what the teachers and students will need to do. She advised the affected persons to check their Google Classrooms where messages would usually be delivered.