KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 9, 2020 (CMC) – Education Minister, Karl Samuda, says steps are being taken to prepare schools, in the event a local outbreak of COVID-19 requires that institutions have to be closed.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that its COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Plan is in place, to manage an outbreak in Jamaica.
The Education Ministry, in outlining its own plans, said it is continuing to have dialogue with stakeholders, including internet providers, to ensure information is delivered to students, in the event an outbreak necessitates the closure of schools.
It said it is broadening its discussion with education stakeholders, through its Quality Education Circles, to develop strategies for information-sharing.
The Ministry said, it has also deposited supplementary funds to the accounts of schools, to purchase sanitising material, including hand sanitisers, for use during school hours, in an effort to enhance the capacity of schools to take precautionary measures.
Samuda said J$30,000 have been provided to primary schools, with populations below 950 students, and $50,000 to schools with more pupils. High schools have also been provided with $50,000 each.
“We must emphasise that this money is to purchase sanitising materials, to ensure preventative measures are employed, for the hours when children are in school. We expect that parents will be cooperative with the schools, to protect theirs and their children’s health,” he said.