JTA demanding MOE explain position on in-person classes as COVID-19 affects schools

Jasford Gabriel
The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) is demanding the Ministry of Education explain the basis of its position that face-to-face-classes continue despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Last week, the JTA called for in-person classes to be suspended while an increasing number of schools are reporting being affected by the virus.
JTA President Jasford Gabriel is again making the call.
“The alarming spike we have experienced …since February 04…in excess of 260 positive cases per day continues to raise serious health concerns across the education system,” he says.
Mr. Gabriel adds since the new school term, “in excess of 25 schools have cited positive cases or suspected cases, many of whom have had to close.”  
He argues the risks associated with face-to-face classes outweigh the benefits.
He notes online delivery of lessons has improved and only a small number of children are showing up for physical classes.
“We have a viable option, albeit an imperfect option with online instruction and the truth is for many schools, they were actually engaged in a greater percentage of students online than those who are coming out for face-to-face. So we must use data to drive the decisions we are making and do it, I think in the best interest right now of health, wellness and safety,” the JTA president says.

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