OBA asks series of questions about plans for new academic year – The Royal Gazette

Updated: August 20, 2022 07:52

Call for plans: Ben Smith, shadow Minister of Education (file photo)

A series of questions were asked by the shadow education minister about the plans in place for the next school year.

Ben Smith, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, asked about the Covid-19 rules as well as whether schools were properly equipped.

He said: “As the new school year is about to start, why hasn’t the Ministry of Education released its plan so that parents and teachers know what to expect?

“What will be the Covid protocols for students and teachers? Can teachers access their classrooms after school and on weekends to do preparatory work or will this continue to be restricted in some schools?

“Should teachers continue to enforce cleaning protocols in schools if and when cleaning is not performed to a satisfactory standard?

“Are we going to continue to see classes closed and students falling behind in the event of a Covid epidemic? What have we learned from the past two years? »

It was announced in July that $150 per public school student would be made available by the government to help parents and guardians with back-to-school expenses.

The Department for Education said last week that staff were working to ensure the one-off payments would be ready in time to help with preparations for the New Year.

Mr Smith asked: ‘While a number of parents will receive government funding to return to school, have all schools received the supplies needed to reopen?

“When funding was announced for households, a teacher voiced the need for computers and other school supplies in the media. Have technological needs been met?

He said: “Have we increased the number of substitute teachers in the Bermuda public school system so that coverage for absenteeism or long-term illness does not exceed teacher capacity?

“Is there an updated plan to support the reduction of school absenteeism? What is the education plan to prevent our students from being recruited into gangs?

“Parents should know that with the new education plans, basic safety needs are taken into account.”

The government has been contacted for comments.

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