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Govt to launch virtual learning and provide meal vouchers for students

The Nassau Guardian March 19, 2020 Jasper Ward

Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd announced yesterday the Ministry of Education will provide two weeks’ worth of meal vouchers for students as schools across The Bahamas remain closed amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am to advise, Mr. Speaker, that there exists in our educational system some 4,200-plus students who depend on schools for their meals,” Lloyd said during a communication in the House of Assembly.

“As a consequence of schools’ closure, those students are at a significant risk. Therefore, beginning this Monday, the Ministry of Education will provide meal vouchers for students and invite parents [to] call and come to the school to collect such vouchers for their children.

“The ministry will engage the vendors who now provide lunch on the various school campuses on a rotational basis.”

As of Monday, according to Lloyd, virtual learning classes will be available for all students.

“This will be accessed through a portal on the Ministry of Education’s webpage,” he said.

“It will simply be called: virtual learning.”

He added, “For preschool and primary students, parents are advised that they’ll be able to access topics that will be supported by videos, links, games and activities to support each of their children’s topics like maths and English and social sciences.

“They will also be able to download PDF documents to have the students practice their learning objectives in their various subject matters.”

As of March 30, according to Lloyd, students sitting their BGCSEs will be able to access “live classes in core subject areas”.

“They will, additionally, have optional subjects upon their request,” he said.

“As you have heard, we will conquer this malady only if all hands are on deck, which means that everyone must take on the responsibility of our children’s continuing education.”

The prime minister announced on Sunday that all schools in The Bahamas will remain closed until April 14, as a result of COVID-19 concerns throughout the country. There are three confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.

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