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Schools in Guyana to remain closed in March

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(CMC): Guyana Education Minister Priya Manickchand says schools across the country will remain closed for face-to-face interaction during March, for every grade except Grades 10, 11 and 12.

During an update on the ministry’s social media page on Sunday, Manickchand said the Education Ministry continues to be advised by the Ministry of Health on safely reopening schools.

“For now, we remain closed to face-to-face learning for the month of March 2021 to all grades except grades 10, 11 and 12. We encourage teachers to continue to engage students online, through the internet and by the various means including WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and Messenger and whatever else that you have been using.”

Manickchand said the government has been listening to international studies about the long-term impact of the closure of schools and is concerned about the impact it will have on the nation’s children. As such, she expressed hope that with the Ministry of Health’s comprehensive rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccine during March, there is a possibility of schools being reopened after the Easter holidays in April.

“Once that goes smoothly and as planned, we anticipate that we are going to be able to reopen schools sometime after the Easter holidays.… Please remember I am saying that while that is an intention and it would be our desire, that would depend on further advice from the Ministry of Health,” she said.

Since assuming office last August, several measures were taken to ensure students remain engaged. In addition to virtual engagements, these included restructuring the Guyana Learning Channel to deliver educational content in a scheduled manner and printing worksheets for every Grade. The education minister noted that while these have been effective, the government is cognizant that it cannot replace the value of face-to-face interaction. 

She also noted that the safety of students, teachers and other staff of learning institutions across the country continues to remain a top priority for the Ministry of Education.

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