One week shy of the reopening of the 2021-2022 academic year, officials from the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence have taken a decision to continue virtual learning into term 2.
This announcement came from acting Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Blaize in a memorandum to principals on island.
The notice dated December 30, 2021, stated, “further to previous discussions on student engagement during principals’ meeting, please note that Term 2 begins on Monday, January 03, 2022.”
According to Dr. Blaize, January 3 and 4 are designated as staff planning days and the commencement of virtual classes will begin on Wednesday, January 05, 2022.
“We continue to strategize for eventual face-to-face engagement on a phased basis. As as soon as a decision is finalized in this regard, schools will be informed. We wish you the best for a successful year,” Blaize expressed.
Following a surge in Covid-19 cases in Dominica last year, the Ministry of Education had taken a decision to revert to the online platform to safeguard students and educators at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Last month, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit urged parents in Dominica to “do what is right” and allow their child/children to get vaccinated in the fight against Covid-19 for the safe return to face-to-face learning.
Dominica has benefited from a donation of Pfizer vaccines from the United States (US) Government which can be administered for children between 12 and 17.
“There are still too many children in the country who are not vaccinated. And if we want to get back to face-to-face in the classroom then we will have to get our children vaccinated,” The Prime Minister said. “You the parents do not want to take it, but why can’t you allow your child to take it?”
He continued, “When I look at the percentage of the schools, the population and those who have gotten vaccinated it is way too large in terms of the number of persons who have not taken the vaccine, so I am urging parents let us do what is just and what is right for our children.”
Meantime, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne who was a guest on the Prime Minister’s weekly program last month advised him that all teachers must be fully vaccinated for safe return of face-to-face learning in Dominica.