Director of Education Clare Browne says 4th and 5th form students are to return to face-to-face learning based on the Ministry’s analysis of the current vaccination levels of students and teachers.
The Cabinet agreed to this recommendation by the Ministry of Education following “intense debate”. The requisite number of teachers with the necessary skills would be assigned by the management team at the Ministry of Education.
Primary schools will however remain in an online school format based on the vulnerability of these students and other data regarding the vaccination of their teachers.
Cabinet acknowledges that Internet access has been a challenge for some families, even when the devices are available to the students and have vowed to fix this issue.
The President and General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT) indicated to Cabinet that 85% of teachers have been vaccinated in the public schools, and that 100% vaccination has been achieved in many private schools.
At the College level, 83% of teachers have been vaccinated. Special attention is to be paid to physically challenged students who require face-to-face instructions. The Adele School is expected to continue receiving its full student body, and 100% of its teachers are reportedly vaccinated.
Cabinet was presented with a list of required teaching staff, numbering 109, to meet the shortfall experienced by the absence of those teachers who have not taken the vaccines and authorized the three-month hiring of those 109 substitute teachers.