End of Face-to-Face Instruction for Academic Year 2020-2021 for Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary Schools and ITVETs

The Ministry of Education remains ever so mindful of the challenges teachers, parents and students have laced during the academic year 2020-2021. Together, MoHW and MoECST have In place very clear, strict protocols which have guided the reopening process. This process has been very successful, with 352 schools green-lighted for reopening across the country.

The option of testing every teacher before returning to the classroom is not feasible at this time because of the large number of teachers, the waiting time for the test results if PCR tests are needed, and the uncertainty of which teachers have already been exposed, when there are only three weeks remaining for the academic year. The MoHW will, however, continue to visit schools to carry out random testing and to offer vaccinations for teachers at each institution as part of their efforts to combat the number of Covid-19 cases.

Out of an abundance of caution, coupled with the fact that vaccination rate for teachers is not yet at an adequate level, the Ministry of Education has made the following decision:

The Ministry of Education, guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), hereby declares that the new date for the end of face-to-face instruction for this academic year will be Friday, lune 18, 2021. All pre-primary, primary, secondary schools and IIVETs are required to end face-to-face Instruction on or before this date.

Education Rule 128 speaks about allowing students to progress each year to the next grade level and asks schools to develop special assistance programmes for students who do not meet some of the expected outcomes at the end of the year. At the secondary level, the determination for promotion and graduation is done in accordance with the schools' academic policies and assessment practices. Therefore, the Ministry is appealing to Managing Authorities of all schools to be reasonable and compassionate, to adjust school policies and practices as necessary to afford the students every opportunity to be promoted, and to provide the necessary support in the new school year to address weaknesses.

Graduation exercises may continue to be carried out in accordance with the existing protocols Schools will receive individual letters of confirmation of their plans from the MoHW.

The Ministry of Education continues to monitor the Covid numbers across the country and once again reaffirms its consistent position that we will at all times be guided by the advice and recommendations of our public health experts.