Students across the island will soon undergo an assessment to ascertain potential gaps in learning which may exist as full-time face to face classes officially resumed in Dominica today.
According to the Acting Chief Education Officer Dr. Jeffrey Blaize, one area that the Ministry has been focusing on is “learning loss” since the students have been online.
He said many students have benefited significantly from the implementation of the online and blended learning, but noted that there are cases where many students, due to limited technological access based on their location and other issues, may not have been able to maximize the benefits provided by these learning opportunities.
As such, principals across the island have been informed of this assessment and special attention will be placed particularly on early childhood learning including the Pre-K, Grade K and Grade one.
Dr. Blaize said there are some gaps that will have to be mitigated and particular attention will have to be paid to that stage as students may not have had the opportunities for online education.
“Based on those gaps, we will put structure in place whether it’s after school, or pull out programmes for the students where we can work with them one on one or in small groups, to bring them up to par in terms of their capabilities where they are expected to be in terms of their learning and the curriculum,” Dr. Blaize stated.
Minister of Education, Octavia Alfred, also noted that much of this term will be spent doing remedial and reinforcement to ensure that students are brought to the required level.
“We highlight and commend the schools that have assessed their students and put remedial programmes in place. This will require a few changes in our curriculum timetables and lesson delivery. Your ministry stands ready to give all of you at the school level the support that you need as you ensure that each child succeeds,” she said.
Within the context of the challenges of the year, brought about particularly by the pandemic,” Alfred called on students, parents and teachers to continue to be diligent and most importantly, to observe the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Let us be very consistent and continue to observe all protocols that are in place as we continue to exercise vigilance in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us wear our masks, sanitise our hands regularly, observe respiratory etiquette and exercise social distancing as much as we can. Many people are still being infected by COVID-19,” Alfred cautioned.
The minister went on to congratulate all the secondary school teachers who have received appointments and assured those who are still waiting that the process is still ongoing.
Alfred informed primary school teachers that her ministry is in an advanced stage of reviewing the primary school structure and noted that early childhood educators are very much part of the conversation and the restructuring process.
On March 7, 2022, Schools in Dominica for the first time since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, resumed in-person learning, utilizing a blended approach, that is, online and face to face.