As schools in the Bahamas reopen today using a hybrid face-to-face learning environment, the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training has established a committee to find thousands of students who did not attend classes for almost two years.
The task force was announced by Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin in a national address last evening.
She declared that The Bahamas was in an education emergency as the missing students span preschool to grade 12.
“The last two years have been unrelenting disruptions in education. The fully virtual learning experience has proven to be difficult for students, teachers and parents,” Hanna-Martin stated.
The task force has been given 14 days to find the missing students.
Representatives from the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Office of the Attorney General, the Bahamas Christian Council, Ministry of Health and Wellness, BTVI, National Training Agency, representatives of the Bahamas Educators Managerial Union, Bahamas Union of Teachers, and Bahamas Education Counsellors and Allied Workers Union are on the task force.
Additionally, diagnostic testing will be done on all students to determine the extent of learning loss.
Hanna-Martin announced that Learning Recovery Committee was established “to provide recommendations and develop strategies for appropriate responses and learning recovery programs, based on the extent of learning loss of each child.”
The government has also commissioned the University of The Bahamas to conduct a study to identify causative factors for learning outcomes.
Since taking office in September 2021, Hanna-Martin has been trying to find ways to help Bahamian students affected by learning loss.
She said the government will do all in its power to keep schools open since it is the best way for students to have equal access to education.