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Learning Moves Online as Montserrat Battles Increased COVID-19 Cases

The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports has released an update on the reopening of schools for the new term in light of rising COVID-19 cases on Montserrat.

ZJB Radio reported on Friday morning that the Ministry of Health had recorded nine new cases, bringing the total to 61.

The Government of Montserrat has already implemented its work from home policy for most civil servants and this is to remain in effect at least until January 18, 2022.

The statement from the ministry said that after reviewing the latest reports from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, schools will remain closed until Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The School Management Teams (SMTs) are expected to be in contact with parents by Tuesday, January 11, 2022 regarding accommodations for learning and instruction.

According to the statement, “GoM Early Childhood staff will provide some resources for stimulation activities for children. GoM Primary Schools will produce resource packages for distribution. The Montserrat Secondary School will activate its online education procedures. There will be some customisation, accommodation and flexibility based on the resources of grades and forms, class and/or subject teachers will communicate accordingly.”

Lyston Skerritt, the acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education said the SMTs have provided reports on the needs of the students and they will engage with parents to ensure they are able to support their children accordingly. Having dealt with the challenges of online learning since the onset of the pandemic, they have adopted a more flexible approach based on access to devices, multiple children in a home and work commitments.”

The St. Augustine Catholic Primary School said it will remain closed for face-to-face instruction until Tuesday January 18, 2022.

“We are pleased to advise that remote learning will be activated on Tuesday, January 11, allowing Monday 10th as Staff Preparation Day,” a notice on their Facebook page read.

Pupils in grades four to six are expected to use their laptop while pupils from grades K to three should have access to a laptop or tablet. If this is not the case, parents are asked to contact the grade teacher as soon as possible.

The new school year was slated to be reopen on Monday, January 10, 2022 after a month-long break.