Online classes over as kids return to school

| 26/08/2020 | 32 Comments

(CNS): There will be no need for any more online classes during the first week of term because all student will be back behind their desks by 31 August as a result of the new relaxed COVID-19 regulations revealed this week. School leaders will no longer need to worry about social distancing in class and the controversies around mask-wearing since these are no longer mandated requirements.

The Department of Education Services (DES) has released updated guidance on the return to school, which is now largely unrestricted, except for the fact that students must wear mask on school buses. However, students are still being advised to avoid close contact with each other.

Speaking at the COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Premier Alden McLaughlin said government had to wait on assurances from Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee and the Public Health Department about these proposed changes before they could be unveiled.

McLaughlin said he was aware of some “scrambling” in the education ministry regarding the updated regulations and the impact on schools. But he said government was sorry “that had to happen”, as he explained that the legal changes necessary to remove the need for social distancing and the mask requirement could not be confirmed until they were supported by science.

“We were not in a position to say to schools this was going to happen as things are changing all the time,” he said, as he warned that things could easily change next week, as seen all over the world, as he noted the need to constantly respond to changing circumstances in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the Revised Reopening Guidance for Gov’t Schools in the CNS Library.


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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I can’t understand how the minimum salary for teachers is being raised to CI$5000 when a recent report concluded that the quality of teaching in the Cayman Islands is below the required standards.

    I am sure that there are some very good teachers that deserve a raise and we should have mechanisms in place to identify and reward those individuals. However, we should not be raising the minimum salary for teachers when we have clear evidence that the teaching standards are subpar.

    • Anonymous says:

      jobs for the boys and jobs for life, even if you are rubbish…. TIC

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100%.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not really.

      There are some terrible teachers here, who undoubtedly don’t do enough to justify their income.

      However, most teachers will be on 2 year contracts. If they’re not impressing, they don’t get renewed.

      Further to that, a competitive salary will attract top teachers. The cost of living here really does negate the “60k tax free package” when it’s looked at closely. If it’s not an attractive package, teachers will go to the middle east and the far east.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well if there’s any virus lingering around, this ought to flush it out. If it were me, I’d keep the masks for a while, at least for older kids.

  3. Anonymous says:

    feel bad for teachers….no more pretend work now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment, even meant in jest, is extremely offensive and demoralising for the teachers who worked very hard during the lockdown. Like every other profession, there may be a few “bad apples”, but I personally do not know of a single teacher who didn’t end up working longer hours than they do in the classroom environment in order to offer the best education to the students, given their limited resources.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am always dismayed when I hear persons deriding teachers. As previously said there are “bad apples” in every profession but we really need to be very careful how we paint everyone with the same brush. I have had all of my children go through the education system , both private and public and they have had no problems. They are all highly educated, graduated from prestigious universities and are contributing amazingly to Cayman. Likewise my grandchildren are in the local school system and so far doing very well. I believe if all of you who treat teachers the way you do would try to work with them to educate your children you would see better results. You probably talk with your children the same way you post and by doing so are sowing seeds of low expectations and bad manners towards teachers. Sow positivity and reap positive results.

      • Anonymous says:

        It may be one good apple that gets perverted by a whole bunch of bad apples working together to scapegoat the good one. That dynamic is more common than you know.

    • Anonymous says:

      If I were a teacher, I’d be on the lookout for available positions in the Postal Service

  4. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile the post office workers continue to work from home ….

  5. Anonymous says:

    DES is getting blamed for all these changes because they had the foresight to develop a plan early on. Accept that through science, watching other countries/institutions, etc. that our government and Ministry of Education must be fluid in their successful approach to returning to school. I like the way DES/Ministry listened to the public and didn’t lengthen the school day for primary (however HS on Cayman Brac has added hours) and genuinely considers students and parents. Some students returning 10 days later than others was going to be very difficult for me what with dropping 1 child at school for the same start time as another young one had to be online. School administration just has to continue being flexible with accepting the challenges and not marking students late for the unavoidable.
    Thanks to all for the hard work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wait, even after all the pathetic excuses at the Ask The “Experts” round table on Friday?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Should never have been any other way. Backtracking CIG style.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Love the picture that goes with this article!

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