The new term of school started in Jamaica. Still, the government of Jamaica had put a stop to face-to-face schooling. This decision would be in effect till the school achieved their herd immunity.
The school term started on September 6. A total of 40,000 students in Jamaica received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccination has been done with the shipment that Jamaica received in August. The government is vaccinating children above 12 years of age so that they can join the school physically.
Minister of Education Fayval Williams, while talking to the parents at the recent town hall meeting, said that a 65% vaccination rate is the standard that has been set for every high school. After that, only the schools can start their face-to-face classes.
Williams said, “While we continue to provide access to education for all our students, face-to-face engagement will only be possible if our students 12 years old and older are vaccinated. Students in secondary schools will therefore return to face-to-face once their school achieves a 65% vaccination rate or higher. The modalities previously established will therefore continue until schools’ population data are assessed for the vaccination rate and permission given by the Ministry of Health and Wellness for face-to-face,”
The minister added that all the administrators, teachers and ancillary staff in the public education sector are highly encouraged to get vaccinated as they would be working in the school environment teaching the childhood/infant and primary-level children. At the time, the vaccines were not available for their children who are less than 12 years old. They have a collective responsibility to themselves and their children to steadfastly continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.
The Ministry would start working on the assessment would be done with the Ministry of health and wellness to arrange a possible date for the start of face-to-face learning. For now, classes will be delivered online and through local TV and radio stations.