Platooning proposals: Length of school day ‘could be halved’ for learners

A state of readiness briefing from the Department of Education has explained in greater detail how the school day could be halved for learners, who would only be required to come in for a morning or afternoon session if these platooning proposals get the green-light.

This was a strategy punted by the ministry right at the beginning of lockdown. With a number of schools having to close again due to multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, the government is looking at alternative solutions to ensure that social distancing can be properly enforced throughout our classrooms.

Platooning: How the school day could split in two

  • Example 1: The higher grades

Platooning would create a specific timetable for each grade. The first proposal looks at how Grades 8 – 12 would operate with ‘morning and afternoon sessions’, split across two alternating week schedules.

The department has also listed the significant pros and cons to this method of schooling. The morning session, in this case, would take place from 7:30 – 11:30, and afternoon learners would attend from 12:00 – 16:00.

Photo: Education Department
  • Example 2: Bringing every grade back

The department has also come up with a broader plan to introduce all children back to class. Should platooning work with the higher grades of education, the plan could be rolled out to primary schools. The morning lessons would be held between 8:00 – 12:00, with the second group coming in from 12:00 – 15:00.

Photo: Education Department

Back to class plans made public

These are merely examples provided by our education officials, and no official word has been given on whether the government will forge ahead with platooning to curb the spread of COVID-19. The end goal is to create an environment where the school is 50% full at all times, with no child being denied the right to learn.

Other proposals, such as bi-weekly schedules and an ‘in school every other day’ model, have also been suggested. But with platooning, students are encouraged to combine home learning with the education they get at school on a more frequent basis. The proposals remain under consideration.

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Presh JM Reporter

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