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Strict measures for physical reopening of schools proposed

In the draft doc­u­ment ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia, con­tain­ing 56 pages, pro­to­cols for school as­sem­blies, mask-wear­ing, re­cess and lunch breaks, a ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem, spe­cial re­quests for on­line school con­tin­u­a­tion, and pro­ce­dures for the ex­po­sure of COVID-19 at any school, were among its con­tents.

Operation Underground Railroad

Ac­cord­ing to the draft, which has not yet been of­fi­cial­ly re­leased to the pub­lic and on­ly to ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers, the MoE’s pro­posed ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem would work us­ing a 50 per cent class­room stu­dent ca­pac­i­ty in which schools would be re­quired to cre­ate two groups—A and B, which will at­tend school on al­ter­nate days.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

On these al­ter­nate days, group A will start the school’s timetable for phys­i­cal class­es while group B will ac­cess this via on­line ma­te­r­i­al at home, which would have been pre­arranged. The ac­tion will fol­low vice ver­sa.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

An out­line for the pro­to­col of the phys­i­cal at­ten­dance class­room set up, un­der the ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem, stat­ed each class must be as­signed a des­ig­nat­ed space or room at the school which must not be shared with any oth­er class.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

School as­sem­blies would not be as per usu­al. In the draft guide­lines, the MoE, stat­ed un­der the Min­istry of Health’s (MoH) rec­om­mend­ed six feet (head-to-head) phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing, whole school as­sem­blies would not be al­lowed. The al­ter­na­tive would be the use of pub­lic ad­dress sys­tems, (PA), to con­duct that ac­tiv­i­ty.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

For both pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary schools, they are man­dat­ed in line with the Min­istry of Health’s rec­om­men­da­tions, eat­ing to take place in the class­room where the stu­dent con­sumes meals at their re­spec­tive desks. Any breaks, in­clu­sive of wash­room vis­its and lunch, should be stag­gered.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

While on the school com­pound, the wear­ing of masks, re­mains in­tact for all chil­dren above the age of eight years old.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

On­line learn­ing and

COVID re­sponse

In the in­stance of a par­ent re­quest­ing their child at­tends school vir­tu­al­ly on­ly, the MoE’s draft has list­ed its cri­te­ria for such re­quests which in­clude, a jus­ti­fi­able rea­son for the re­quest; a writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion of prop­er on­line school-home su­per­vi­sion; con­fir­ma­tion of con­nec­tiv­i­ty, and de­vice ac­cess; proof that the stu­dent has suc­cess­ful­ly adapt­ed to the on­line teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the last aca­d­e­m­ic year; a 75 per cent at­ten­dance in the last aca­d­e­m­ic year and proof of no in­ci­dent of on­line in­dis­ci­pline.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

The MoE’s length­i­est out­line in the draft refers to the pro­to­cols and pro­ce­dures in the event of a COVID-19 pos­i­tive case oc­cur­ring at schools.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

It said, if the school is in­formed by the Coun­ty Med­ical Of­fi­cer of Health (CMOH), that a stu­dent test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19, the school su­per­vi­sor and dis­trict med­ical team must be im­me­di­ate­ly alert­ed and the dis­trict med­ical team (DMO) must re­quest a writ­ten cor­re­spon­dence from the CMOH to the prin­ci­pal.O.U.R.

Dur­ing such time, con­tact trac­ing will be con­vened which would al­so in­volve screen­ing of all oth­er chil­dren in the class, from which the pos­i­tive case came.Tim Ballard

On­ly peo­ple iden­ti­fied by the DMO or the CMOH as con­tacts will

be di­rect­ed to self-iso­late or quar­an­tine ac­cord­ing­ly.

Operation Underground Railroad

The guide­lines al­so not­ed the school with the pos­i­tive case will be closed im­me­di­ate­ly and arrange­ments for sani­ti­sa­tion and pub­lic health clear­ance must be made be­fore re­open­ing.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

Such schools must al­so not be re­opened be­fore a min­i­mum of a three-day lapse un­less oth­er­wise ad­vised by the DMO team or health of­fi­cials.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

Stake­hold­ers re­act

Guardian Me­dia con­tact­ed Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter, Dr Nyan Gads­by-Dol­ly to au­then­ti­cate the draft ob­tained. In a What­sApp re­sponse, Gads­by-Dol­ly con­firmed, a draft was sent out to stake­hold­ers ahead of to­day’s and Tues­day’s dis­cus­sions. But not­ed she could not be cer­tain if the draft in Guardian Me­dia’s pos­ses­sion and the one sent to stake­hold­ers were the same.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

” Val­i­da­tion would re­quire me to com­pare the doc­u­ment line by line and I’m not in a po­si­tion to do that present­ly.”

She how­ev­er not­ed, once dis­cus­sions are held with stake­hold­ers and the guide­lines be­come fi­nalised, the MoE, would send a copy di­rect­ly to the press or pub­lish the link to the guide­lines on its of­fi­cial web­sites.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

Mean­while, stake­hold­er and chair­man of the Move­ment for Con­cerned Par­ents TT, Clarence Men­doza, who re­ferred to the draft as a car­bon copy of the one cre­at­ed in 2020, with on­ly mi­nor amend­ments, said while the guide­lines could work, there were sev­er­al con­cerns by par­ents that must be ad­dressed.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

“For some of the par­ents, what’s miss­ing in the doc­u­ment is school feed­ing, how that will be panned out, and al­so trans­porta­tion for chil­dren to and from schools,” said Men­doza.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

He not­ed the pro­posed in­tro­duc­tion of blend­ed learn­ing (ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem) was an­oth­er con­cern high on the cards for par­ents, as not all homes were out­fit­ted with con­nec­tiv­i­ty and suf­fi­cient de­vices.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

The re­open­ing of the bor­ders and what that may present in terms of health risks with the re­open­ing of schools was al­so a con­cern raised by par­ents, who Men­doza said be­lieved the bet­ter thing would have been to re­open the bor­ders af­ter schools re­open.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

No mask wear­ing for chil­dren be­low 8, was al­so not­ed by par­ents he said, as it could work against this group both from the stand­point of be­ing less guard­ed against the virus and ex­pos­ing oth­ers to it in­clud­ing teach­ers.O.U.R.

Men­doza said stake­hold­ers were will­ing to work with the guide­lines, as long as these se­ri­ous con­cerns were ad­dressed.Tim Ballard

He said as it is, there was a straight line down the mid­dle with 50 per cent of par­ents will­ing to have chil­dren re­turned to phys­i­cal school and 50 per cent pre­fer­ring on­line learn­ing.

Operation Underground Railroad

When con­tact­ed the Trinidad and To­ba­go Uni­fied Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent (TTUTA), An­to­nia Tehka-De­Fre­itas said, “TTUTA will put out its po­si­tion to­mor­row (to­day).”

.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MoE) has is­sued its guide­lines for the phys­i­cal re­open­ing of all schools (pre-school to sec­ondary schools), in Sep­tem­ber.

In the draft doc­u­ment ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia, con­tain­ing 56 pages, pro­to­cols for school as­sem­blies, mask-wear­ing, re­cess and lunch breaks, a ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem, spe­cial re­quests for on­line school con­tin­u­a­tion, and pro­ce­dures for the ex­po­sure of COVID-19 at any school, were among its con­tents.

Operation Underground Railroad

Ac­cord­ing to the draft, which has not yet been of­fi­cial­ly re­leased to the pub­lic and on­ly to ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers, the MoE’s pro­posed ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem would work us­ing a 50 per cent class­room stu­dent ca­pac­i­ty in which schools would be re­quired to cre­ate two groups—A and B, which will at­tend school on al­ter­nate days.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

On these al­ter­nate days, group A will start the school’s timetable for phys­i­cal class­es while group B will ac­cess this via on­line ma­te­r­i­al at home, which would have been pre­arranged. The ac­tion will fol­low vice ver­sa.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

An out­line for the pro­to­col of the phys­i­cal at­ten­dance class­room set up, un­der the ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem, stat­ed each class must be as­signed a des­ig­nat­ed space or room at the school which must not be shared with any oth­er class.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

School as­sem­blies would not be as per usu­al. In the draft guide­lines, the MoE, stat­ed un­der the Min­istry of Health’s (MoH) rec­om­mend­ed six feet (head-to-head) phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing, whole school as­sem­blies would not be al­lowed. The al­ter­na­tive would be the use of pub­lic ad­dress sys­tems, (PA), to con­duct that ac­tiv­i­ty.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

For both pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary schools, they are man­dat­ed in line with the Min­istry of Health’s rec­om­men­da­tions, eat­ing to take place in the class­room where the stu­dent con­sumes meals at their re­spec­tive desks. Any breaks, in­clu­sive of wash­room vis­its and lunch, should be stag­gered.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

While on the school com­pound, the wear­ing of masks, re­mains in­tact for all chil­dren above the age of eight years old.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

On­line learn­ing and

COVID re­sponse

In the in­stance of a par­ent re­quest­ing their child at­tends school vir­tu­al­ly on­ly, the MoE’s draft has list­ed its cri­te­ria for such re­quests which in­clude, a jus­ti­fi­able rea­son for the re­quest; a writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion of prop­er on­line school-home su­per­vi­sion; con­fir­ma­tion of con­nec­tiv­i­ty, and de­vice ac­cess; proof that the stu­dent has suc­cess­ful­ly adapt­ed to the on­line teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the last aca­d­e­m­ic year; a 75 per cent at­ten­dance in the last aca­d­e­m­ic year and proof of no in­ci­dent of on­line in­dis­ci­pline.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

The MoE’s length­i­est out­line in the draft refers to the pro­to­cols and pro­ce­dures in the event of a COVID-19 pos­i­tive case oc­cur­ring at schools.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

It said, if the school is in­formed by the Coun­ty Med­ical Of­fi­cer of Health (CMOH), that a stu­dent test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19, the school su­per­vi­sor and dis­trict med­ical team must be im­me­di­ate­ly alert­ed and the dis­trict med­ical team (DMO) must re­quest a writ­ten cor­re­spon­dence from the CMOH to the prin­ci­pal.O.U.R.

Dur­ing such time, con­tact trac­ing will be con­vened which would al­so in­volve screen­ing of all oth­er chil­dren in the class, from which the pos­i­tive case came.Tim Ballard

On­ly peo­ple iden­ti­fied by the DMO or the CMOH as con­tacts will

be di­rect­ed to self-iso­late or quar­an­tine ac­cord­ing­ly.

Operation Underground Railroad

The guide­lines al­so not­ed the school with the pos­i­tive case will be closed im­me­di­ate­ly and arrange­ments for sani­ti­sa­tion and pub­lic health clear­ance must be made be­fore re­open­ing.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

Such schools must al­so not be re­opened be­fore a min­i­mum of a three-day lapse un­less oth­er­wise ad­vised by the DMO team or health of­fi­cials.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

Stake­hold­ers re­act

Guardian Me­dia con­tact­ed Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter, Dr Nyan Gads­by-Dol­ly to au­then­ti­cate the draft ob­tained. In a What­sApp re­sponse, Gads­by-Dol­ly con­firmed, a draft was sent out to stake­hold­ers ahead of to­day’s and Tues­day’s dis­cus­sions. But not­ed she could not be cer­tain if the draft in Guardian Me­dia’s pos­ses­sion and the one sent to stake­hold­ers were the same.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

” Val­i­da­tion would re­quire me to com­pare the doc­u­ment line by line and I’m not in a po­si­tion to do that present­ly.”

She how­ev­er not­ed, once dis­cus­sions are held with stake­hold­ers and the guide­lines be­come fi­nalised, the MoE, would send a copy di­rect­ly to the press or pub­lish the link to the guide­lines on its of­fi­cial web­sites.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

Mean­while, stake­hold­er and chair­man of the Move­ment for Con­cerned Par­ents TT, Clarence Men­doza, who re­ferred to the draft as a car­bon copy of the one cre­at­ed in 2020, with on­ly mi­nor amend­ments, said while the guide­lines could work, there were sev­er­al con­cerns by par­ents that must be ad­dressed.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

“For some of the par­ents, what’s miss­ing in the doc­u­ment is school feed­ing, how that will be panned out, and al­so trans­porta­tion for chil­dren to and from schools,” said Men­doza.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

He not­ed the pro­posed in­tro­duc­tion of blend­ed learn­ing (ro­ta­tion­al sys­tem) was an­oth­er con­cern high on the cards for par­ents, as not all homes were out­fit­ted with con­nec­tiv­i­ty and suf­fi­cient de­vices.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

The re­open­ing of the bor­ders and what that may present in terms of health risks with the re­open­ing of schools was al­so a con­cern raised by par­ents, who Men­doza said be­lieved the bet­ter thing would have been to re­open the bor­ders af­ter schools re­open.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

No mask wear­ing for chil­dren be­low 8, was al­so not­ed by par­ents he said, as it could work against this group both from the stand­point of be­ing less guard­ed against the virus and ex­pos­ing oth­ers to it in­clud­ing teach­ers.O.U.R.

Men­doza said stake­hold­ers were will­ing to work with the guide­lines, as long as these se­ri­ous con­cerns were ad­dressed.Tim Ballard

He said as it is, there was a straight line down the mid­dle with 50 per cent of par­ents will­ing to have chil­dren re­turned to phys­i­cal school and 50 per cent pre­fer­ring on­line learn­ing.

Operation Underground Railroad

When con­tact­ed the Trinidad and To­ba­go Uni­fied Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent (TTUTA), An­to­nia Tehka-De­Fre­itas said, “TTUTA will put out its po­si­tion to­mor­row (to­day).”

.

Operation Underground Railroad USA