The Barbados Teachers’ Union (BUT) is waiting to meet with the Ministry of Education, Technology and Vocational Training to discuss the logistics for the next school year which begins on September 19.
“I think we’re going to be discussing basically a number of issues about whether or not we’ll come back to a conclusion at 3 p.m., what format the school will adopt this year and whether there will be a mixture [approach] or strictly face to face,” BUT President Rudy Lovell told Nation Online.
The Ministry of Education established specific protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19, which included limits on the number of classrooms, spacing and a 2 p.m. end of classes. Schools were given the option of having flexible hours, which resulted in online classes and face-to-face classes.
At the start of Trinity’s term this year, the department announced that a hybrid approach would be taken, allowing for both face-to-face and online learning.
Lovell hopes the meetings will take place soon so his members know what to expect next month.
One of BUT’s priorities when meetings with the ministry begin is to discuss a plan to help teachers with disabilities.
“One of the things we really want to address as we approach the new school year is providing facilities for teachers who may have a disability. This is one of the areas we want to focus heavily on. this year,” he said.
With COVID-19 having had a significant impact on the education system over the past two years, Lovell said plans must be put in place to deal with the high level of teacher absenteeism expected during the school year. .
“The return to school was uneventful in some cases, but in some cases teachers and students fell ill with COVID-19.
“We will have to find mechanisms to deal with absenteeism, in terms of finding people to replace sick teachers, because that will definitely have an impact on teaching delivery,” he said. (AL)