Barring unforeseen circumstances, all students will return to class when the new school year begins on September 6, according to Minister of Education Hon. Rachel Taylor.
Taylor made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday in Providenciales while giving updates on the latest happenings in her ministry and its preparation for the new school year.
She said the decision was collectively taken in Cabinet on Thursday, August 11.
“Cabinet approved the opening of schools for face-to-face instruction across the Turks and Caicos Islands,” she said.
In the last school year, students alternated between attending schools in-person and learning virtually at most institutions, being referred to as ‘hybrid learning’.
She said it was proposed for schools to reopen on August 30, but Cabinet, at its latest gathering, extended the date to September 6.
Minister Taylor pointed out that although it was government’s intention to return to full resumption of in-person classroom learning at the beginning of the new school year, the final decision will rest with the Ministry of Health.
“So, I want you to understand that we are going face-to-face (learning) with advice from the Ministry of Health.
She added: “Should we return to hybrid learning, we will allow schools to have cohorts of 300 students. Now, the reason for the 300-students decision is that when we came to the conclusion of the last academic term there were private schools, as well as some of our schools in the family islands who indicated that they could have accommodated 250 to 300 students comfortably and practicing the protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health. So, that is what we are taking into consideration.”
She said there will be a series of workshops leading up to the reopening of schools. One of the workshops, according to Taylor, would be to detect students with learning disabilities, to enable the Ministry of Education to put in the relevant mechanisms in place to address the situation.