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Public schools to now open on January 7

As a gift to teachers, public schools will reopen on January 7 instead of January 2, Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd announced yesterday.

“To celebrate our hardworking teachers and administrators, the Ministry of Education has today announced that schools will reopen on Monday, January 7, 2019,” Lloyd said.

“With schools originally slated to reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, the Ministry of Education saw fit to provide an additional five holiday days for our hardworking and dedicated educators throughout The Bahamas, many of whom worked throughout the holiday season.”

He also thanked the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) for its “cooperation and participation in this endeavor”.

BUT President Belinda Wilson said the extension of the Christmas break was a result of a meeting between the union and the ministry yesterday.

“I went into a meeting today and recommended that school opens on the January 7 because we closed very late, which was [December 20],” Wilson said.

“…We noticed too the trend that students do not attend school whenever school opens immediately after the holiday and especially if it’s in the middle or coming to the ending of a week. It’s nothing abnormal.”

She said the Ministry of Education and the union need to work together more often, and that the ministry should follow all logical advice given by the union.

“Whenever the union has an objection to something, we always give a recommendation. So if the Ministry of Education would take our recommendations more readily than they do, then we would have less issues,” she said.

When asked if she believed the delay of the reopening of schools would cut into classroom time for students, Wilson insisted it was not a delay in the opening schools.

Schools usually close between December 14 and 15, she claimed.

Government schools closed on December 20 this year.

“It is logical that schools will open on the seventh, so it isn’t a delay,” Wilson said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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