The Ministry of Education says that during the July/August vacation period, it has been working strategically to prepare all schools to open its doors on Monday 3rd September 2018.
It says that as part of the preparation, it has issued contracts to over 70 Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) teachers, over 50 primary school teachers have been appointed, over 60 secondary school teachers have been sent to schools across the country and over 150 School Social Workers have been brought on to augment the employee complement of the Student Support Services Division (SSSD).
The Ministry said in a statement that teacher training has been a major part of the vacation period as well as teachers were able to benefit from developmental training in Special Education, Information and Communication Technology, Clinical Supervision, Measurement and Evaluation in Technical and Vocational Education and many aspects of education to aid in their personal and professional development.
It adds that stakeholder engagement has also played a critical role in preparing schools to be opened for the new school term.
"During this period the Ministry has engaged Trinidad’s Regional Corporations, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC), Denominational Boards of Management and other public and private entities in the business of education," the ministry's statement said.
It noted that traditionally, it was thought that school readiness had only to do with infrastructure and it is the Ministry’s duty to ensure that the public is aware that preparedness goes beyond the building.
However, it says the physical readiness of the school plant cannot be ignored and on the heels of the earthquake on Tuesday 21st August 2018, many persons are concerned about the safety and readiness of schools.
As such, the Ministry is completing the structural checks along with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Minister of Education Anthony Garcia along with officials of the Ministry will be hosting a media conference on Saturday 1st September, 2018 to update the general public on all matters relating to the opening of the new academic year.