With a reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases now in the BVI, the government has approved the physical reopening of the territory’s schools on a phased basis.
The reopening of schools was announced on September 18 in a live broadcast by Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley. The decision is also outlined in the latest Public Health COVID-19 Control & Suppression Order issued by the government.
According to the order, all private schools, daycare centres, pre-schools and colleges are approved for reopening once they’ve been inspected by the Social Distance Monitoring Task Force and approved by the Ministry of Education.
“It is of paramount importance that everyone understands that all educational institutions must have measures in place to safeguard the health and well-being of our children and our teachers as stipulated in our framework for the reopening of schools or they will not be allowed to reopen,” Minister Wheatley said.
He added that some students in public schools are now allowed to attend in-person classes as they are not able to access online learning like everyone else.
These students include technical education students, students with special needs, marginalised students, and adult education students. The Chief Education Officer will decide on the students that fall into these categories.
Minister Wheatley urged schools to continue using learning platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex even for students who will be attending in-person classes.
He also urged parents to ensure their children have a structured environment in which to engage online schooling.