Jamaica’s Ministry of Education and Youth, is currently taking steps to prepare schools – in the event a local outbreak of COVID-19 requires that institutions would need to be closed.

The outbreak of the flu-like illness has spread to more than 70 countries globally since it first emerged in China in December, infecting more than 100,000 people. Some 3,500 have died.

Yesterday, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that its COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Plan is in place, to manage an outbreak in Jamaica, and in a release about its own plans, the education ministry 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 also noted that it is broadening its discussion with education stakeholders, through its Quality Education Circles to develop strategies for information sharing.

The ministry said Primary Exit Profile (PEP) practice booklets and PEP camp workbooks are also being prepared for electronic distribution to support continued preparation for the national exams for students at the primary level.

In addition, the ministry said it has also deposited supplementary funds to the accounts of schools, to purchase sanitizing material, including hand sanitizers for use during school hours. Thirty $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.

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