Education Ministry on alert for coronavirus outbreak in schools

Education Minister Karl Samuda says steps are being taken to prepare schools in the event a local outbreak of COVID-19 requires that institutions have to be closed.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that its COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Plan is in place to manage an outbreak in Jamaica. 

The Education Ministry in outlining its own plans said it is continuing to have dialogue with stakeholders, including internet providers, to ensure information is delivered to students in the event an outbreak necessitates the closure of schools.

“We expect that parents will be cooperative with the schools to protect theirs and their children’s health”

— Education Minister, Karl Samuda

It said it is broadening its discussion with education stakeholders through its Quality Education Circles to develop strategies for information sharing.

The ministry said it has also deposited supplementary funds to the accounts of schools to purchase sanitising material, including hand sanitisers, for use during school hours, in an effort to enhance the capacity of schools to take precautionary measures.

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Samuda said J$30,000 have been provided to primary schools with populations below 950 students and $50,000 to schools with more than pupils. High schools have also been provided with $50,000 each.

“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,” he said.