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Minister of Education Anthony Garcia and acting Chief Education Officer Lisa Henry-David listen to Queen’s Royal College principal David Simon, left, during a tour of the school yesterday.

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More sinks and spaced out classes will be a part of the new normal for returning students to schools.

During a tour of Queen’s Royal College (QRC) yesterday, Minister of Education Anthony Garcia was shown a couple of classrooms with spaced-out desks, while principal David Simon also confirmed the school’s gymnasium had been transformed to accommodate CSEC/CAPE examination students.

“We are already in full gear preparing for exams. What we did, the room that you are presently in, is a room that will be used for examinations, you recognise that it has been socially spaced for this particular purpose,” said Simon in a brief press conference in the gymnasium following the tour.

“The classroom that we visited is also socially spaced as we get ready to organise for exams. And of course, we are already working on a plan based on the information that we get from the Ministry of Education and all the other agencies as to what will happen in September that we anxiously await,” he said.

During the tour, the QRC Principal also pointed out areas he had identified to house exam invigilators and described plans to install additional sinks around to school.

“The principal has informed me that he will be installing 20 additional sinks and those sinks will be spread all around the school so the moment the student leaves a classroom and goes to another classroom he will have to opportunity to wash their hands so that when enters the classroom, he enters the classroom germ free,” said Minister Garcia.

He added: “Every school has what we refer to as drinking troughs, and in spite of the fact that QRC has a number of drink troughs were students can have their water and they can wash their hands and so on, it was felt it was necessary at this school to have additional sinks so, therefore, QRC will be installing additional sinks.”

The Education Minister also clarified a statement concerning the number of persons allowed to come to school for School-Based Assessments.

He explained that while groups larger than five will be allowed on the school compound, only five persons would be allowed in a classroom at a time in keeping with public health regulations.

“We are asking not more than five persons to be in a classroom at the same time.

“So this can be done on a rotational basis, a teacher, for example, can meet with a class of 25 but not at the same time,” he said.

The Minister also toured the St Patrick Girls RC School, also known as Nelson Street Girls school as they prepared for students sitting the SEA exam but said there was still no confirmed date for the Secondary Entrance Assessment.