The Jamaica Teachers’ Association says it is ready for the reopening of schools come October 5, 2020. The JTA says it has been preparing for what it describes as “new education” given the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading in physical classrooms. President of the JTA, Jasford Gabriel, says the outbreak of the virus in March which prompted the closure of all schools, followed by a series of virtual learning sessions was a dry run for the academic community. With the increase in COVID-19 cases, it is less likely that students will return to the physical classroom. However, even if they do, it’ll only be for a couple days and for some a few hours.
Gabriel says Jamaican teachers are better prepared for this round of virtual classroom. He says more educators will be engaged including some retired teachers for critical subjects such as the sciences. He adds that more assistance is being sought for children with special needs. But despite network infrastructure upgrades and capacity building training for teachers, he is worried that reliable internet connectivity may force classes to be dismissed or postponed altogether.
When asked about the measures put in place to ensure these children will not get left behind. The JTA President said physical material will be provided for students.