No official date set for reopening of schools amid COVID-19 concerns

– MOE finalising plans to keep students safe while learning

– continues to offer Online, TV and Radio learning

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Schools across Guyana remain closed as the Ministry of Education reassesses its decision to reopen on April 20, in light of the recent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry currently is formalising a new plan that would keep students, teachers and other stakeholders safe.  The decision on the way forward will be made by the National COVID-19 Task Force in conjunction with the Education Ministry.

Schools have been closed since March 16 and to ensure that learning still takes place at all levels has made available academic material on its website, the Guyana Learning Channel, NCN Radio, Radio Mahdia, Bartica, Essequibo, Mabaruma, Lethem and Radio Paiwomak.

Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry is encouraging parents and students to continue taking advantage of the learning platforms made available to them.  She also disclosed that the Ministry will be working on ways to support more vulnerable students.

Since the decision was made to close schools in the interest of Guyana’s children, students set to sit major examinations have had those tests postponed.

There is no official date set for the National Grade Six Assessment.  The Caribbean Examination Council via a virtual press conference in March had announced the postponement of CSEC and CAPE, offering alternate solutions to ensure that students can matriculate.

The deadline for School-Based Assessments has been extended by 30 days while candidates would only be required to sit a General Paper 1 examination.

CARICOM member states whose students also sit the CSEC and CAPE examinations are working on the way forward for their schools.

The Jamaican Ministry of Education, Youth and Information had initially announced the reopening of school on April 22 while Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago the Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley said he does not see the possibility of Trinidadian schools reopening this academic year.

Other countries project that their schools may be closed for the rest of the academic year as the global pandemic continues to spread.