First day of school sees high turnout by students and teachers

As schools reopened today for face to face teaching, the Ministry of Education has received preliminary data regarding attendance on the first day. Based on data received from 51% of the nursery and primary schools across Guyana, 70% of nursery pupils attended school along with 95% of teachers being present. At the Primary level, 92% of teachers were in attendance with 65% of their pupils present.

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand speaking with a pupil of Smyth Street Nursery school as he was being picked up by his father

It must be noted that some schools have chosen to teach specific grades on different days to avoid crowded classrooms and to maintain social distancing. Therefore, the attendance data does not reflect the entire school population but rather those students who were scheduled to attend school today.

The Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said that there is no right or wrong decision that parents can make regarding sending their children to school during this particular time. She said that the Ministry gave the choice to parents about how they wanted to have their children engaged and that the Ministry will support the choice parents make; whether to send their children to school or to keep them at home.

Sanitizing of furniture at St. Sidwell’s Primary school before the start of the afternoon session

Further, the Education Minister said that she is very pleased to see that the diagnostic assessment began across the country as the results will inform how and what teachers will teach in the coming weeks.

During the first half of this academic year, students are expected to be taught the topics they missed last year before they move onto another grade. Teachers today were enthused to be back in school and ready to start teaching.

Students of Calcutta Primary School getting ready to begin their day at school

However, this was not the case for 10 schools that were unable to open today because some of the teachers tested positive for COVID-19. The Ministry of Education wishes for a smooth recovery process for those teachers and will remain versatile and responsive to meet the needs of our students and teachers in this constantly evolving situation.