Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand has said each student returning to school will undergo a diagnostic assessment once schools reopen.

This will be done to determine the level of learning loss each student suffered during the prolonged school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As far as it relates to academic level as well as wellness… a wellness aspect of a diagnostic, as well as an academic level of assessment to see what learning loss we have suffered over the time and what we need to do,” Minister Manickchand said, during an interview on Friday.

The Minister also noted that no date has been set for levels below Grade 10 to return to classroom interaction.

At the same time, the Ministry continues to take steps to ensure that all students are engaged in education.

On November 9, schools reopened to classroom learning for students preparing to write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and learners at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

However, some 988 CXC students have not engaged in learning. As such, the Ministry has partnered with religious organisations countrywide to reach those students.

“The effort here is to make sure we get kids back into the system, to finish some level of training because the research says that for every year a student finishes high school, they’ll earn nine per cent more for the rest of their life… We really want to give everybody a higher quality of life,” Minister Manickchand said.

Schools will close on December 18 for the Christmas holiday break.

Classes will resume for the Easter term on January 4, 2021. Only students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are expected to turn out for face-to-face interactions, while other students will resume instruction through the use of worksheets, via online learning platforms and television and radio programmes.