Ministry of Education also working with BTVI on program to engage students after high school
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to trend downward nationally, students of some Family Islands schools could fully return to face-to-face learning by the week’s end or Monday.
The same prospect could occur for students on New Providence in the weeks ahead if the COVID trend continues.
As soon as the end of this week, we’ll probably have increased enrollment to the point where we may even have some schools doing full face-to-face.
– Director of Education Marcellus Taylor
Director of Education Marcellus Taylor told Eyewitness News the decision was contingent on the advice of health authorities.
“Once we get whatever clearance we get from health and the assurances they give us in terms of ‘you can go ahead, the number of COVID-19 cases are going down, the hospital’s capacity is resolved’…you’ll see soon a ramping up of students, the number of students coming on campus [on] the Family islands,” Taylor said.
“As soon as the end of this week, we’ll probably have increased enrollment to the point where we may even have some schools doing full face-to-face.
“If not by the end of this week, certainly on Monday, as long as everything remains as it is.
“Then on New Providence, you know the process will be a little bit slower because there are more logistics to work out, but ramping that up as well.”
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in The Bahamas have continued to trend downward.
There have some been concerns about the upcoming school schedule, with some parents asserting that two days of in-person learning was insufficient for their children to engage in education.
The education director assured that the decision to reduce the number of days students spend in classrooms is based on the need to mitigate coronavirus cases if and when there are spikes, as has been the case with the delta and omicron variants, coinciding with the third and fourth waves respectively.
He assured that the objective of educators and the Ministry of Health is to get as many students back in the classroom as possible, safely.
The next few weeks will evidence whether there are deficiencies and learning gaps that need intervention, according to Taylor, who said the ministry has been developing programs to address learning gaps.
The ministry has also engaged the Bahamas Technical and Vocation Institute (BTVI) to revive some of the technical programs that would provide opportunities for students leaving high school.
According to officials, a program is expected to be rolled out with a host of employers this year for hundreds of graduating students to find employment immediately.