Chief Education officer: virtual learning to continue into term 2

Dr. Jeffrey Blaize – file photo

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Roger Burnett
    January 1, 2022

    Although online learning does not readily lend itself to teaching the present core subjects of our schools’ curricula, it is nevertheless an ideal vehicle for introducing students to all aspects of the creative arts.

    Perhaps here is an opportunity for the Ministry of Education to give the creative arts the attention they deserve. It is by way of the creative arts that students, at all levels, can be best motivated to excel in all subjects.

    One interest leads to another. My lifelong passion for jazz has recently led me to study music theory online.

  2. Verline
    December 31, 2021

    Happy for the continuation. I loved it.

  3. Ibo France
    December 31, 2021

    Many students are being shortchanged by virtual learning. Most countries have already resumed in-person classes.

    Face-to-face classes can be done with the enforcement of the strictest protocols and procedures. Students, especially the very young, need constant guidance, assistance and encouragement in grasping new, and at times, difficult concepts being taught.

    To be adequately effective with online learning, the requisite material and human resources must be in place. Teachers should be well trained to execute their lessons in order to capture the short attention span of the young and easily distractable children.

    Let’s hope that too many students are not blighted by this prolonged, untested system.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7
  4. Channel 1
    December 30, 2021

    Since this article deals with education, I have some questions:

    1. Why are we still referring to these covid pharmaceuticals from Pfizer & Co as vaccines?

    Why are we PRETENDING that we do not know what a medication labelled as a vaccine is fundamentally designed to do? How long is this absolute farce going to continue?

    2. What has happened to the phrase ‘HERD IMMUNITY’ nah?

    My ears just can’t seem to locate that phrase anymore on the mainstream media & from those who were proselytizing to the masses about the concept of achieving herd immunity for an unstable respiratory virus such as SARS-COV-2 – a virus which from very early o’clock revealed its mutative nature.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6
  5. Say It As It Is
    December 30, 2021

    When are teachers getting laptops? It seems that the Ministry of Education caters to parents and students ONLY!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

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