Basic and secondary education minister Claudiana Cole has laid out how she intends to get students back in school – as she announced the reopening of school.

Speaking on GRTS on Tuesday, Cole stated school would reopen on October 14 and October 28 for students between Grade 7 and 12 and ECD to Grade 6 respectively.

Her gameplan however includes reduced class sizes, distance learning initiatives, extended school days, double shifting and catch-up plans.

She said: “Dear parents, teachers, students and all other stakeholders, now that we are beginning to understand the virus, and seeing positive signs in our countries’efforts to contain the pandemic, as well as having learnt and gained some lessons and experiences from the partial school re–opening, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is determined to reopen schools under strict conditions based on the advice of the Ministry of Health and WHO agreed international standards.

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“To complement this, my Ministry in collaboration with all the stakeholders will endeavor to ensure that the safety of all schools, students and teachers are safeguarded from hazards related to the COVID-19 pandemic by putting in place measures thatwill support this process.

“However, being cognizant of the multiple benefits of face-to-face learning against the risks posed by the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry intends to complement the reopening of schools with a recovery strategy, by promoting reduced class sizes, distance learning initiatives, extended school days, double shifting and catch-up plans to recover learning losses accrued during the school closure.

“This will also be supported by monitoring the education responses to the pandemic nationally, as the data collected on both students and teachers’ wellbeing are analyzed toinform the course of action.”