Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Public schools across the Territory will officially commence on Monday, September 21 with all classes being solely online.
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley in a statement on Professional Day said that due to the current Curfew Order and the increase of COVID-19 cases, that it was in the best interest of the community and students that classes are offered online.
Minister Wheatley said, “It was our greatest desire in the ministry that we would have been back on school campuses for this new school year. However, we are beginning the school year at a time when several active cases of the dreaded Coronavirus are in the Territory.”
Honourable Wheatley said most of to the private schools in the Territory are currently open and training for educators have been on going during this week. These sessions he said will focus on the online platforms for the 2020-2021 school year which include Power School, and Google classroom for assessment, evaluations and lesson planning.
The Minister reported that Cabinet recently approved the Framework for the Reopening of Schools which recognised that with the ongoing pandemic and the need for physical distancing, various scenarios had to be considered. The framework he said led toward a hybrid of online and physical learning.
Honourable Wheatley gave the assurance that the reopening of schools physically will be reviewed fortnightly with reports to Cabinet by the ministry. He implored parents to ensure that students are engaged in the current schooling system as it is a human right that they are afforded as well as a requirement of the Education Act.
“Preventing a learning crisis from becoming a generational catastrophe requires urgent action from all of us. Education is not only a fundamental human right, but an enabling right with direct impact on the realisation of all other human rights,” Minister Wheatley said.
The theme for the 2020-2021 School Year is “Educating All in Changing Times” which realises the challenges that come with COVID-19 and access to technologies such as devices and internet.
“Every effort will be made to ensure that all students are exposed to the teaching and learning process. And while the majority of students will be online, those students without technological access will receive packets of information so that they can continue classes,” Honourable Wheatley stated.
Orientation for schools will be held between Monday, September 14 to Friday, September 18. Parents will be notified of specific dates for orientations and are to contact their child’s school for further information.
For more information on the 2020-2021 School Year, contact the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture at 468-4949.