Schools on the island will be back to their full complement of students and staff come Monday, November 8, 2021.
So said the Ministry of Education citing the declining numbers of active COVID-19 cases on island over the past weeks as the primary reason for the decision.
Schools across the island have remained close for most of 2020 and 2021 in order to limit the transmission of the coronavirus in country. Since then the education system adopted a hybrid approach to educating students which at some point focused on online teaching only.
While the COVID-19 situation in Saint Lucia is still unpredictable, the decline in transmission and positivity rates seem to have opened a window of opportunity for the Ministry of Education.
Highlighting the successful implementation of Phase One of the reopening of schools in the physical setting, where Grades K, Six, Forms Four and Five resumed face-to-face instruction, the Ministry said that throughout the period, continued engagements and discussion with stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, Principals and the Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union were held.
“The continued decline of the number of active Covid-19 cases, which has resulted in a general improvement of the national health situation and given the fact that the necessary preparatory activities have been finalized, a decision has been taken to resume school for the remaining grade levels including the special education schools and tertiary institutions on Monday November 08, 2021, using the face-to-face modality, which may include a whole school or alternate day approach,” the Ministry of Education noted in a statement.
According to the Ministry, “School principals will inform on their schools ‘operational plans, in line with the guidelines outlined in the Continuity of Learning Plan.”
The Ministry encouraged the general public to conform to the protocols prescribed by the Ministry of Health stating that “a further decline in cases means that our students and other education stakeholders can all benefit from a full face-to-face instruction.”