Santo Domingo’s Ministry of Education gets to work to authorize the reopening of all of their schools

The Dominican Republic’s government and their Ministry of Education has seen the light. After schools have been closed for in-person learning since mid-March 2020, matters are changing now.

Their Ministry of Education issued a short notice where it announces it will adhere to the decisions of the Ministry of Public Health and the Health Cabinet regarding the resuming of in-person learning nationwide.

The note from the Ministry of Education follows a statement calling for return to in-person learning in schools by Vice President Raquel Peña. On 5 May 2021, Vice President <strong>Raquel Peña</strong>, who is the coordinator of the Health Cabinet, stated that she has always favored the reopening of in-person learning. She was reacting to demands from parents, teachers and director of private schools that were hard-pressed to understand how restaurants, bars, entertainment and sports centers were all open and schools had to remain closed.

The note from the Ministry of Education follows a statement calling for return to in-person learning in schools by Vice President Raquel Peña. On 5 May 2021, Vice President Raquel Peña, who is the coordinator of the Health Cabinet, stated that she has always favored the reopening of in-person learning. She was reacting to demands from parents, teachers and director of private schools that were hard-pressed to understand how restaurants, bars, entertainment and sports centers were all open and schools had to remain closed.

The Ministry reports: “After the Cabinet of Health shared with us yesterday (5 May 2021) its position in favor of a general opening at all levels of the pre-university education system, the Ministry of Education immediately has put into action the provisions that, for this circumstance, were established from the beginning of the Education for All Preserving Health Plan, after consultation with the related sectors and entities, so that we move forward in unity of the entire educational community in another step from which we will also come out successful.”

Until this date, the Ministry of Education had opposed a general return to classes. In-person learning was only allowed under restrictive protocols in around 60 municipalities nationwide, where the Covid-19 positivity was under 5%.

The announcement comes after pot-bagging in the evening and in-person classes were taking place at fast food shops since the Ministry of Education had banned teaching at most schools in the country. The Ministry of Education has spent billions on air time and development of distance learning programming for TV, radio and Internet and on new electronic devices for students in the public school system.

In keeping schools closed for in-person learning, the Ministry of Education had the backing of the Association of Public School Teachers. Public school teachers get paid the same whether they are teaching from home, not working or back in school. But private school associations urged for the reopening of the schools.

Educa, the pro-education non-governmental organization, says that if cleared, the private schools are ready to restart in-person learning on Monday, 10 May 2021.

The Dominican Republic enters Phase III of the Vaccination Plan on Monday, 10 May, when all persons 18+ are allowed to be vaccinated.

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