NOT YET: Min. of Health still monitoring schools for full face-to-face return

NOT YET: Min. of Health still monitoring schools for full face-to-face return

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin said yesterday the government continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation with a view to returning students to 100 percent face-to-face.

Hanna-Martin said while schools remain open in the hybrid model, the Ministry of Health continues to delegate COVID-19 protocols for in-person classes.

She noted that the ministry guidelines mandate that students are to be three feet apart and that has hampered the move to support full classrooms.

She said she remains in constant dialogue with the Minister of Health to see when they will be given the green light for 100 percent face to face.

“There are some other challenges we are facing,” Hanna-Martin added.

“It’s not business as usual and so we are creating a number of interventions.

“We are looking at the high school diploma to see how that has been affected by the pandemic and what modalities can be introduced where the pandemic interfered with meeting certain things.

“We are also looking at learning loss and all of these things. We are not at 100 percent to normalcy as yet but we are pretty far advanced.”

Many parents have called on the government to ease those high school diploma criteria because some students missed the mark to graduate in part due to the pandemic.

The government introduced the Bahamas High School Diploma criteria in 2014.

According to the Ministry of Education, the minimum criteria to earn the BHSD is for students to attain four subjects in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) Examinations, complete 27 credit hours in grades 10—12, maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 over the three years, complete 30 hours of unpaid Community Service, complete 20 hours of job readiness training, and maintain 90 percent or higher attendance and punctuality.

It is also a requirement that parents participate in a minimum of three parent/teacher conferences between grades 10-12.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.