After a twelve (12) week interruption caused by the effects of Covid-19 in Montserrat, the Montserrat Secondary School (M.S.S.) proceeded to conduct a 'Phased Reopening of Upper School' that is 5th, 4th and 3rd forms
The main reason for the reopening according to Director of Education, Dr. Gregory Julius, is to facilitate 5th and 4th form students in their final preparation for external exams. The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) is continuing with the examinations for CSEC, CCSLC and CAPE, and the results will determine how our students will receive future opportunities to pursue further education, or to seek employment after graduation.
The "Guidelines for Safe Reopening of Schools in Montserrat," was created and issued by MNI_Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, and illustrates the new protocols that should be adhered to. These signs were observed on the school premises at strategic points on the site visit.
It was a pleasure to observe the protocols in place which are aimed at ensuring our children are safe.
Some of the observations made include:
- Nurses present to check the temperature of students.
- Hand sanitizers provided for teachers to use at their classes.
- Soap provided near water pipes.
- M.S.S. Auxiliary staff, teachers and students were wearing masks correctly.
- Social distancing in the classrooms
- Teachers using new laptops to conduct Zoom meetings and google classroom with students off site.
- Ministry of Education Management present and assisting with implementation.
Students are also adjusting to the new normal. One student said, "It is hard for me because I haven't seen my friends in a long time, but I know that there is a risk, and I am keeping my distance."
While students are adjusting to school and are happy to see their friends, others were also happy to pick fruit from a nearby plumrose tree.
We will all continue to adjust, but one thing is certain, everyone is aware of the bigger picture - moving Montserrat forward!