A gradual return to interactions between teachers and students here has been mounted by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
A MOE release indicated that psychosocial support and some l formal instruction have commenced with students housed in shelters.
This is a precursor to the return of formal instruction, beginning with Form 5 and Grade 6 students on May 17, to be followed on dates to be announced for Form 4 and Grade 5 students, and then for all others.
The return to face-to-face learning amidst the use of schools as emergency shelters, demands that alternate space to house students will be identified.
And even though a possibility exists where persons from the Orange Zone could be given the all-clear to return home as the volcano’s explosive activity has diminished, meaning that some schools might be ‘freed up’, there would still be need for alternate space.
Towards this end, Prime Minister Hon. Ralph Gonsalves announced a plan for government to construct temporary school buildings at the E.T Joshua runway/tarmac, while extensive rehabilitation takes place on other schools.
This plan was revealed as he made a visit to the World Food Programme storage facility located at the E.T Joshua Tarmac.
“On the second half of the runway, we going to build two, maybe three temporary schools,” he assured, “because there are nine schools which we had to [build] before the volcano. We were going to do two, we have to do now a third one.”
He said that the other temporary schools were built while extensive rebuilding was taking place. He explained that one school to be rebuilt was in Sandy Bay but it is preferable to construct a school on the tarmac instead to cater to the numbers of students in shelters.
He was clear that, in light of the possibility of cessation of explosive activity by the La Soufrière volcano, operations should have been underway to readily engage students in schools.
“We want to be ready, if anything, to start the process shortly in relation to the temporary schools,” the PM stated.