Reopening of schools in Dominica postponed due to COVID-19 surge

Minister for Health Octavia Alfred. Photo credit: GIS

The Government of Dominica has taken the decision to postpone the reopening of schools due to the recent Covid-19 surge affecting the island.

Education Minister Octavia Alfred made the announcement during a statement today.

“The Covid-19 Pandemic continues to significantly impact all the sectors within the country and the education system in Dominica is no exception,” she said. “The most increase in cases has necessitated that the Ministry of Education postpones the reopening of schools on the island.”

She continued, “The Ministry of Education understands the anxiety of our parents and students and we have spent the better part of the last three (3) weeks in planning for the reopening of school, therefore the following decisions have been taken.”

According to Alfred, from September 1st to September 10th 2021 teachers will be engaged in planning and training will be completed in various areas.

“During this time, parents and the general public will also be engaged,” she stated.

Furthermore, she stated that from September 13th 2021 to October 1st 2021, instructions will commence fully online for 5th form students only.

“Based on a survey carried out by the Minister of Education, all students moving from 4 to 5 have devices and also have their textbooks,” she explained. “We have a very low number of students who do not have access to internet at home; these students will be accommodated at the primary schools in their villages taking into consideration the necessary protocols.”

She said all teachers will work from their schools as schools have internet and devices for use by teachers.

Alfred pointed out that to formalize the online learning, students will also follow a structured time table.

“They will be in class from 8:00AM to 2:00PM with six 45 minutes sessions, two 15 minute eye and brain breaks and one 20 minute snack break,” the Minister explained.

Alfred made it clear that students are expected to dress in uniform while attending class even if they are at home.

“Classes will be monitored by education officers, principals and lead teachers,” she stated. “Students ‘from 1st to 4th form will begin instructions from October 4th, 2021.”

Primary school students are expected to also begin instructions on October 4th, 2021 and according to Alfred, the Ministry of Education is in the process of finalizing the model of instruction which will be utilized

She said the public will be given more information as time progresses

Meanwhile, the Education Minister is encouraging teachers to get vaccinated for their protection and the protection of the students.

“Presently, 37 percent of our teachers are vaccinated,” she revealed.

Pointing out that soon youth aged 14 to 17 will be able to get vaccinated with the receipt of Pfizer vaccines from the US, Alfred said the Ministry of Education is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

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25 Comments

  1. British Man
    August 26, 2021

    No one has regcognize the MoE has unilaterally increase school hours from 8 a.m to 1 p.m to 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. What does the DAT has to say about that. I wander if DAT is a functional union or just a group of yes men. Maybe the MoE knows they are week so they did not even have the courtesy to consult them. Teachers keep staying quiet time will tell.

  2. Ibo France
    August 25, 2021

    I’m happy that Madam Minister has learnt that words have consequences. This time around she kept quite a distance from the pampalam word.

    However, one grown lady decided to try the pampalam thing and caught the prying eyes of a parl rep. He (parl rep) was caught red handed eating the forbidden fruit and in his attempt to escape sustained some injuries to his person. Yes Sir, it’s true.

  3. We the People
    August 25, 2021

    Are you sure this is the case? Or you have a problem with those issues being raised? This Administration has demonstrated time and time again that they earned and deserve the “blows” they are getting.

  4. August 25, 2021

    These people always have something negative to say like they care so much for the children of today when, they don’t care a hoot about these children. They always frown upon anything the Administration has to say or do whether it is for the betterment of these kids.

    • We the People
      August 25, 2021

      Are you sure this is the case? Or you have a problem with those issues being raised? This Administration has demonstrated time and time again that they eared and deserve the “blows” they are getting.

  5. Ibo France
    August 25, 2021

    This Minister of Education, in my honest opinion, comes across as two things – a comedian and do not have it altogether..

    Here are the reasons. Students are asked to be attired in full uniforms at home. This is great comic relief. Teachers will have to attend school to conduct online classes. The technological infrastructure is woefully inadequate for this. It’s general knowledge that the schools do not have the wherewithal to accomplish this effectively. The disgraced Minister knows this.

    The lady has been making a comedy of errors. Sensible Dominicans know that the line Minister is uniquely unqualified for this particular portfolio. The woman is just loud, braggadocious and not the brightest bulb in the house.

    • %
      August 25, 2021

      She has shown that she is the worse Minister of Education the country has had since 1978. She can’t speak properly, she can’t pronounce myriad of words, so it should not surprise anyone that she cannot think as well..Guess they have no faith in the hard working teachers that if they stay home they will work efficiently.. The same teachers that care more than they do.. They rather have them in one place where a slave master will be supervising them and threatening them!!

      • Ibo France
        August 26, 2021

        %, which one has the edge of the two, Minister Filthy-minded Pampalam or ghost Minister who sports those antiquated, silly looking colonial hats in the mental asylum (parliament)?

        When you are mixing a rum punch you mix water, rum, fruit juice, nutmeg, etc. This present Cabinet is a concoction of Liars, Adulterers, Gluttons, Scamps, Fools.

    • Toto
      August 25, 2021

      Ibo, the P.M. does not want this minister to be the brightest bulb in the house you understand, because she might mentally challenge him.

      • RandyX
        August 27, 2021

        …and he himself isn’t that bright either! So all the others must be falling into the category of headless chicken, at best.

    • %
      August 25, 2021

      So is so stupid, incoherent and poorly lettered, that she does not even know the difference between “principal” and “principle”, when i listened to a voice message that she sent out.

      • %
        August 26, 2021

        She is so stupid and incoherent…..

  6. RandyX
    August 25, 2021

    Does that make sense to anybody. The education of our children is delayed yet again, but tourism (cruise ships) is ok to come in and spread their wings all over the island. The Skerrit regime has again proved that they are not with it. Presumably a few ‘big wigs’ in the tourism industry have made pressure. Skerrit of course can’t afford to loose their support but him and Pampalam are quite happy to ask our children to make a sacrifice again. People, all you must realise by now that Uncle doesn’t care about all you one bit, but he will always please his cabal, those business people and those big stakeholders in the tourism Industrie. He knows if they withdraw their support, he is a dead man working for sure.

    • Ibo France
      August 25, 2021

      Mr. X,,I wholeheartedly agree with you on everything you stated but one. Why do you think that Skerrit is all of us UNCLE. Don’t you see how he treats us? That man doesn’t even regard us as a distant cousin by the treatment he metes out to us.

      • RandyX
        August 26, 2021

        I stand corrected, Ibo, uncle to the Cabal and DLP supporter is no doubt a better description.

  7. Roger Burnett
    August 25, 2021

    Although the visual arts lend themselves ideally to online learning, I doubt that they will be included in the courses that the Ministry of Education has in mind. Regrettably, our school curriculums mostly ignore all aspects of the creative arts.

    In an attempt to remedy the situation my online “Notes for Art Students” began life six years ago as a supplement for students attending my art classes. I then re-launched the site in the hope that it would benefit Dominican students in general. It’s most recent resurrection came about over a year ago in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    If there is local interest I am willing to resurrect the site yet again in light of the current restrictions. I stress ”local” because while my online postings are followed by thousands of art students throughout the world, followers in Dominica are few and far between.

    For those interested the site can be found at: https://notesforartstudents.blogspot.com

  8. Smh
    August 25, 2021

    Oh MOE, I don’t like to criticize but you all are knocking on my door. COVID-19 has been around for almost 2 years now. We weren’t ready at the time of the first lockdown. That’s more than understandable. However, after having a full academic year where students were in the physical classroom setting, you had more than enough time to plan for the possibility of this new wave of COVER to avoid this delay in the shift to online learning. This is unacceptable!
    Now, you want Forms 1-4 to go back to school in October. Have you all considered the level of difficulty teachers will have in finishing the various syllabi? Forms 1-3 have time, but Form 4 doesn’t. They aren’t writing CSEC next year, but failure to cover the required amount of work during Form 4 will have that spill over into Form 5 which is not a full academic year as Form 5 students are really only in school for two terms!
    Magwaysah! Where were the plans to ensure that teachers were trained before this occurred?

    • Smh
      August 25, 2021

      Another issue is that only 38% of teachers are vaccinated. If that’s the case why are teachers being asked to report to school? Many businesses are running on skeleton staff because of the pandemic with the majority of workers operating from their homes. Why not teachers too? The minister made mention that parents and students are anxious but made no mention of what teachers have to deal with. You’re asking teachers to report to work when daycares are closed. Where will they leave their young ones who aren’t receiving instructions online? Who will supervise the children of teachers who are home attending classes virtually? The MOE seems to be in the business of taking care of students and parent while little consideration is given to teachers.

  9. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 24, 2021

    In any event this time you cannot; advised Dominica little girls to go and shake-up their behind in front of the vicious vulture to get money to pay for the vaccine, as you advised them to do to get money to pay their school tuition.

    Be reminded that the taxpayers of America money paid for that so that the Dominica people could get it free of charge!

    I the Wesley kid I am a taxpayer in America: I pay taxes to the Federal Government; as well as State, and city government too.

    I am one, along with other Dominica taxpayers in America paid for that with the rest of the American population!

    And if we ever find that it become a political partisan distribution affair where only the red devils are been given the vaccine, we will ensure that the the Federal Government of the United States levy some sort heavy sanction, against government Roosevelt Skerrit; the one man government of Dominica!

    • Man bite dogs
      August 25, 2021

      Thanks Francisco, you guys UWP blue a** flies are all wicked nasty minded desperate losers now longing to see Dominicans staves to death by hopes that America will sanctions Dominica well Francisco, you are a nobody but a disgrace ….., sanctions will never happen in Dominica Ugly Lenny, will never be prime minister of Dominica sucker!

  10. AA
    August 24, 2021

    Lady are you serious. Sit down at home from 8- 2 in uniform. Just ask children to dress decenlty if necessary. Not sure who is putting these regulations in place, but they are laughable.
    Those who do not have internet at home will go to the primary schools in their villages. Hope that you have figures, proper sitting arrangements and persons to sanitize after them. Imagine a 16 year old sitting on a bench made for a 6 year old. What not allow them to go to their respective schools?
    I await a daily report

    • Toto
      August 25, 2021

      Ask yourself, who is selling school uniforms. No uniforms, no sales for businesses.

    • August 25, 2021

      @AA, did you ever think that the suggestion would encourage the children to think that they are at school and not at home?

      With that mindset, they would put more focus on the school work before them, not thinking that they are free to leave the thing of school, which they are doing, to go to the kitchen fridge or something like that.

      Being in school and being at home is not the same.

      • Ibo France
        August 26, 2021

        Foolishness that! Both you and the Pampalam Minister are like-minded. You are like two peas in the same pod. Both of you are pretentious, sanctimonious, hypocritical, unthinking, unethical, amoral and were not the valedictorians of your class.

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