Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Education has announced that given the spike in COVID-19 cases, it has become necessary to delay the reopening of schools.

“We have consulted with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and barring any unforeseen challenges, schools will reopen on a phased basis beginning Monday, October 5, 2020,” Minister of Education Karl Samuda said in a statement this evening.

He said the re-engagement is based on a blended approach, which includes face-to-face teaching and learning, online and offline computer aided learning, televised learning and printed learning kits, the ministry’s content app, and other learning management systems.

“During the period between now and September, the ministry will finalise the distribution of tablets to teachers and students at the primary level and finalise the procurement of laptops for students on the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education at Grades 10 to 13. The ministry will also activate the Google Suite learning management system for all schools and training will be provided on the use of the system,” he said.

Psychosocial support and empowerment sessions will be provided for students, teachers and parents and printed learning kits will be distributed to students. Educational support programmes will also be extended and new partnerships will be forged to support distance/remote learning, Samuda added.

Further details will be provided to the nation after more in-depth consultation with stakeholders, Samuda said.