Schools get funds for hand sanitizers and more amid Corona concerns
The money that was promised to public schools for them to purchase hand sanitizers and disinfectants as the country continues to brace for the coronavirus, COVID-19, was uploaded to their accounts on Friday.
This was confirmed on Saturday in a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI).
According to the ministry, the money is to help schools shore up their preparations to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. It said the initial payment of 30,000 dollars to primary schools with populations below 950 and 50,000 dollars for those with more students will be augmented based on an assessment of their needs. Each high school will also be provided with 50,000 dollars.
Minister with responsibility for the education portfolio, Karl Samuda, said this initial payment is intended to supplement funds, which have already been allocated to schools to deal with their operational needs.
“We must emphasise that this money is to purchase sanitising material to ensure preventative measures are employed for the hours when children are in school. We expect that parents will be cooperative with the schools to protect theirs and their children’s health,” Samuda stated.
In the meantime, the ministry said it is continuing its dialogue with internet service providers and other stakeholders to determine how best to make educational material available to students in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 on the island, which may require schools to be closed.
“The MoEYI is also broadening its discussion with education stakeholders through its Quality Education Circles to develop strategies for information sharing to ensure that students are not left disadvantaged in having access to education, in the event of a health crisis,” the statement added.
On Thursday, the MoEYI outlined a three-tiered ‘Education in Emergencies’ system aimed at improving the preparedness of schools and ensuring children’s right to continued education in times of crises.
Teams from the Ministry’s Curriculum Unit are preparing online learning kits for uploads on the MoEYI websites. PEP Practice booklets and PEP Camp Workbooks are being prepared for electronic distribution to support continued preparation for the national exams for students at the primary level.