Although the new executive order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus signed by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced maintains the authorization for private schools and public schools to prepare their facilities for the moment when classes can begin in person, at the time of the course offering will continue to be “strictly” virtual.
The president thus stipulated it in the new executive order 2020-077, which is valid until November 13. “The offering of strictly virtual courses is authorized until there is evidence of a decrease in the report of daily confirmed cases by Covid-19,” said Vázquez.
For his part, the Secretary of the Department of Education (DE), Eligio Hernández Pérez, affirmed yesterday to THE SPOKESMAN that the issue of opening schools is something that is discussed regularly with experts in the area of the Department of Health, as they advise the agency based on the scientific data they maintain on positive cases for Covid-19.
The official stated that the DE will follow the recommendations of the Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano, as well as his advisory team.
“Our schools remain open to assist families who require it. Principals, librarians, psychologists, and social workers are available to collaborate with parents or students. In addition, school canteens continue to operate for the preparation of lunches that are distributed daily ”, he commented.
Hernández Pérez pointed out that work continues to guarantee an adequate education for students. He affirmed that the didactic modules are already in the seven educational regions and that each director has searched the inventory of modules that had been reserved for his school and, in turn, is distributing them to those families who have requested or need them.
He assured that all the students in the municipalities in the southwest of the island affected by the earthquakes at the beginning of the year have their computers.
“While the process of delivering computers and tablets continues – giving priority to students who did not have any electronic device for their distance classes – equipment arrives on the island weekly and is distributed to schools for students,” said the head of Education.
On the issue of connectivity or internet access, Hernández Pérez explained that it is something that is being worked on with government agencies and service companies. “We hope in the next few days to be able to announce the progress of the working group,” he said.
He pointed out that since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DE designed a security plan endorsed by Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English). “The plan outlines the possible actions, in phases, of possible school openings,” he said.