Education officials have circulated surveys to help cater to the needs of students, parents, teachers and employers during the coming school year. Although in-person education is expected to resume in October, there will still be an online component to accommodate physically distanced education. (Photo: JOEY WALDINGER)

Government has circulated a batch of surveys that ask students, teachers, parents and employers about their experience during the past school year in order to help education officials prepare as the new school year approaches, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture.

The ministry sent out an earlier round of surveys in April to gauge how many residents might have difficulty participating in remote education, and “while the ministry has received preliminary feedback, it is important that additional feedback be received from students, teachers, parents and employers upon whom the success of the new school year will be dependent,” ECYAFA Permanent Secretary Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe said.

Ms. Stoutt-Igwe urged residents to complete the surveys, which are available on government’s website, by tomorrow afternoon.

New school year

Though the school year is set to begin on Sept. 21, students will not return to the classroom until October, ECYAFA Minister Dr. Natalio “Sowande”Wheatley said in an Aug. 6 interview with 284 Media.

The most recent suppression and control order passed by Cabinet in July mandated that schools remain closed for three months, Dr. Wheatley explained.

Plan in the works

However, he said that Cabinet will continue to discuss the reopening of schools, and that the results of this deliberation will be reflected incoming decisions.

“A plan has been constructed by officials in the [ministry] and circulated to all stakeholders … in terms of how school will look come Sept. 21 subject to the approval of Cabinet,” he said. Continuing with the measures taken during the lockdown earlier this year, the ministry is proposing a “blended system” of online and face-to-face learning, while a shift system similar to the one adopted after Hurricane Irma may be reinstated at some of the bigger schools to facilitate physically distanced education, Dr. Wheatley added.

“We will not be able to accommodate all the persons in school because of social distancing, and we certainly will be observing social distancing in the new school year,” he said.