Ministry defends timing of school closure

The Ministry of Education has defended the late notice and decision to have schools in Barbados remain open until 1 p.m. yesterday with the pending arrival of Tropical Storm Bret.

It had sent out its notice just after 6 a.m. yesterday stating that classes would end at 1 p.m.

Chief Education Officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw said the ministry’s decision had been borne out of meetings held with stakeholders and the Barbados Meteorological Services the day before.

She said the decision to have school open until 1 p.m. stemmed from the forecast that Bret would not seriously affect the island until late yesterday.

“I’m aware the public would have had some concerns about the notice but, I wish to remind the public that the decision on closure is based on the update from the Met officer,” she said. “The ministry was advised about the weather conditions this morning, and combined with outcomes of the national stakeholder meetings, informed the decision about the closure.”

Archer-Bradshaw said an additional component in the decision-making was examinations.

“Some students had exams, and based on the Met Office’s forecast on when the system might impact, it was determined the children could take the exams for which they had prepared for diligently. In every case, parents have the privilege to choose the option that was best for their particular family situation,” she said. (BA)

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