The Ministry of Education is allowing the dress code to be relaxed as part of the procedures to help students and teachers beat the heat
The Ministry of Education has put in place a new policy to help students and teachers feel more comfortable at school as the island continues to be affected by extremely hot and humid weather.
Chief Education Officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw made the announcement after touring St Stephen’s Primary School in Blackrock, St Michael on Monday, the first day of the new academic year.
She said she sent correspondence to all public schools informing them of the dress code adjustments and other changes.
Acknowledging that warm conditions can pose a challenge to the teaching and learning process, Archer-Bradshaw said that after conversations with officials from the Ministry of Health, her ministry “issued a circular last week sharing with school administrators how teachers, students and parents can stay safe.” They’re cold themselves.”
“We talked about allowing them to drink water frequently throughout the school day. We talked about allowing children to attend classes outdoors in shaded areas, and one of the things I shared in my circular with school principals today is that we can allow children to wear their play clothes from time to time.” Or they can wear a plain white t-shirt with their gaming pants.
“We realize that it is hot outside, so we have to take measures to make sure the children and teachers are comfortable. Teachers are also asked, if they wish, to wear loose-fitting clothing to ensure their comfort while teaching.
Archer Bradshaw added that department officials are conducting a review to determine how many classrooms in the public education system require fans.
“But I know some schools where PTAs are very involved and have purchased ventilators for different classrooms, so I encourage all PTAs to participate. In the meantime, we will conduct our audit to see how we can reduce the shortage,” she added.
In his report on the first day of school after the nine-week summer break, Archer Bradshaw said everything went fairly smoothly and there were no major problems.
“I am very happy with what I have seen so far. I have not received any negative reports regarding the school opening today. I am very grateful to the Education Technical Management Unit of the Ministry of Education as well as the education officials who made sure this day opened smoothly. I must not forget the school principals,” she said. “And the teachers and other staff who were able to facilitate a smooth day today.”
Regarding the readiness of public schools to resume classes, Archer Bradshaw and Acting Director of the Technical Management Unit for Education Francisco Miller, who is overseeing the summer reform program for schools, said they were pleased with the work that had been accomplished.
“We budgeted $2.2 million for the summer program and we also had some additional small work outside of the summer program. We had completed about 40 schools during that process; the work is ongoing. There are about 85 preschools and elementary schools, so we looked at areas,” Miller said. “The most important thing that could have affected the start of school and we made sure to do that,” he said, adding that roof repairs and window replacements took up the lion’s share of the budget.
During the tour, Archer Bradshaw, who was accompanied by Deputy Director of Education Joey Adamson, gave words of encouragement to the students and told them it was important to drink plenty of water.
She also announced that the ministry is looking to install water coolers in various schools, and that efforts are being made to improve security in schools.
“We are working on a safety and security policy for schools and it will be published soon. I must tell you that the Education Minister has held a number of standing meetings with officials from the Department of Education along with external stakeholders to see how we can make our factories safer as we move closer to developing the policy and finalizing it.” Of which now that we were the Director of Education said at the beginning.