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Back to school for Class 4 students on June 15, 2020

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

Back to school for Class 4 students on June 15, 2020


Students who are sitting this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination, also known as the Common Entrance, will be back in the classroom on June 15, 2020.

This will allow teachers four weeks of face-to-face interaction with students ahead of the examination on July 14, 2020.

And those children who have to sit Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams and have outstanding School Based Assessments, will also be allowed to return to school to have those completed.

Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw said the decision to have the Class 4 students return to school was made after consultation with the stakeholders and the teachers’ representatives, including the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.

She made the announcement earlier today during a media conference in which she also gave an update on e-learning, CXC examinations and operating in a COVID-19 environment.

The Hilary Term (2) closed in Barbados on March 18, two days after the first coronavirus cases were detected here. Students are yet to return to the classroom and the Ministry of Education has turned to remote teaching, with emphasis placed on those who will be writing examinations.

“We propose to integrate all Class 4 students only, into primary schools from the 15th of June giving teachers four weeks’ contact time with students in order to prepare them for the examination,” Bradshaw said.

“With the assistance of protocols that have been put in place for the reopening of schools in a phased way by the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation, we have spoken to our public health officials. We have started discussions with the respective unions and we have come to some consensus in terms of the way forward as it relates to a set of protocols which will guide the return to school for both our teachers as well as our students at the Class 4 level.”

The Minister said the school plant must be safe for both students and teachers and they will be looking at sanitising. She said there was preliminary discussion with UNICEF and a commitment to provide masks for students and teachers, as well as sanitising material. Markings will also be placed in the classrooms to ensure the six-feet physical distancing is maintained.

“While we plan as well for the actual day of the examination with a set of protocols being put in place, we are equally looking at the protocols that would be necessary to govern the return to school of the Class 4 students into the respective environments,” Bradshaw added.

More than 3 300 students are sent to write this year’s Common Entrance Examination.

For those doing CXC exams, protocols will also be established.

Bradshaw said there was no set date for the end of the Trinity Term which was set to start on April 14 and end on July 3. School started on May 4 and is scheduled to end on July 24. She said there were suggestions to end the term early and those options were on the table.


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