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39 schools now participating in face-to-face classes

Fayval Williams
 
Education Minister Fayval Williams has disclosed that 39 schools islandwide are now participating in face-to-face classes.
 
They include the 17 schools which participated in the two-week pilot programme as well as an additional 22 schools which reopened on Monday for face-to-face classes.
 
They include: Bloomfield Primary, Oracabessa High, Seaforth High, Seaside Pimary, Albert Town High, Fern Court High, Troy High, Frome Technical High, Maud McLeod High, Rhodes Hall High, Aberdeen High, Mile Gully High, Black River High, Newell High, Park Mountain Primary, St. Elizabeth Technical High, Inswood High, Bustamante High, Central High, Clarendon College, Claude McKay High. 
 
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon, Mrs Williams said another nine schools will soon reopen following inspection by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. 
 
The minister said another 86 schools which were previously inspected by the Health Ministry have indicated a preference to reopen on January 4. 
 
"Madam Speaker, we have already had consultations with principals of these schools, who are already beginning to be in contact with parents. Schools are encouraged to make full use of all the approaches - online, audio-visual and the learning kit. While engaged in the face-to-face, schools should also use the rotational approach in which some of their students will be in the physical classroom while others will utilise remote learning," she pointed out.
 
More than 100 schools across Jamaica were recently inspected and given a passing grade by the Ministry of Health.
 
Mrs Williams said the inspections were part of the assessment for the phased reopening of schools.
 
 
PEP delayed
 
Mrs Williams said the sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams will be delayed.
 
This is due to learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
"For PEP four to six, we have reduced the content coverage to be assessed, we have delayed the sitting of the Performance Task and the curriculum based test for later dates in the year, and we have planned interventions including the services of private education consultancy services to enable our students to perform at the best of their abilities," the minister noted. 
 
 
CXC exams pushed back
 
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has also pushed back the schedule for the 2021 CSEC and CAPE exams.
 
The exams will take place in June and July instead of starting in May. 
 
"CXC has also proposed to return to using the regular format of the exam - Paper 1, Paper 2 and the SBAs with 100 per cent moderation. From consultation with our principals of high schools, concerns have been expressed about the ability of our students to successfully complete these exams given the challenges. The ministry shares these concerns and has begun further negotiations with CXC," said Mrs Williams.  
 


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