Bermuda Post

Monday, May 17, 2021

Statement from Minister of Education: Ministry of Education Update

Statement from Minister of Education: Ministry of Education Update

The Minister of Education, the Hon. Diallo Rabain, JP, MP,  has this afternoon released the following statement to address the proactive measures being made to ensure the health and safety of our Bermuda Public School teachers, students, parents, and the larger community. 

Minister Rabain stated, "Bermuda, we understand the alarm that positive cases cause and assure you that it is of paramount importance to the Ministry of Education that we are transparent with the COVID-19 Protocols we have in place. In light of the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases on the island, the Ministry of Education will implement the following:"

Easter Break 2021

Easter Break 2021 will commence on Monday, March 29, instead of Thursday, April 1. The last day of school for students will be Friday, March 26. Students will return to schools as normal on Monday, April 12. Minister Rabain clarified, "We acknowledge that the rise in positive cases has disrupted our staffing levels as a result of teachers being ordered to quarantine during contact tracing. With this in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to move forward proactively. Schools will be asked to send out learning packets for students to work on during the four days next week. We also will hold discussions with our Union partners about the possibilities of making up those four days."

Senior Schools Remote Learning

Effective Wednesday, March 24, our two senior schools will be allowed to transition to remote learning, while senior school teachers will be required to report to school and conduct classes virtually.

Personal Development

The previously scheduled Professional Development workshops for teachers will still take place on Thursday, April 1.

In the press statement on Sunday, The Government informed the public that additional information would be released about Purvis and Northlands Primary once further details were known.

Northlands Primary

The entire school, except those ordered to quarantine, was tested on March 19, and out of the 102 tests performed, two returned positive. The DOH determined the movements of one or more positive individuals within multiple school bubbles made it possible for wider exposure in the school on or before March 19. Out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to transition to remote learning while students and staff are required to quarantine until April 2.

Purvis Primary

The entire school, except those ordered to quarantine, was tested on March 20, and out of the 138 saliva samples taken, there were zero positive cases.

However, when the initial exposure case's close contacts were tested, four additional positive cases were identified. The DoH determined the movements of one of these positive cases within multiple bubbles at the school made it possible that wider exposure may have happened in the school on or before March 16. Therefore, the decision was made to transition to remote learning while students and staff must quarantine until March 30.

Minister Rabain added, "Given the data that we have received, the Ministry is taking a proactive approach to balance what is best for our student's learning and our island's health and safety.

"Bermuda, I remind you that the vulnerable must be protected, and that means we must all be considerate of how exposure to COVID-19 affects students, schools, teachers, parents, and the larger community. While we have seen our bubbles work very effectively, I want to remind parents to check with their doctor if their child is experiencing any signs of sickness and do not send them to school."

"We ask everyone who has children, family, or friends associated with the school system to use caution and strictly adhere to the Government's safety measures to help us contain this latest community outbreak and reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We must all work together – wear your mask correctly, wash your hands regularly, maintain physical distance and get immunised when you can."

"Bermuda, we understand the alarm that positive cases cause and assure you that it is of paramount importance to the Ministry of Education to be transparent and responsive with the COVID-19 Protocols we have in place. I want to thank the Department of Health and the Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory for their dedication and commitment to ensure the safety of our schools."

Any questions concerning COVID‐19 should be emailed to schoolsurv@gov.bm
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