Students, teachers urged to remain vigilant
Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand is urging students and teachers who have turned out to school to remain vigilant and to stick to the COVID-19 guidelines.
She made the call during an interview with DPI on Monday.
“We have to make sure people don’t relax measures because sometimes doing normal things like going back to school could make you feel like everything is normal again. So, we have to keep everybody on their toes and remind people one hundred times that we’re not in normal circumstances and this is still a disease and a virus that you can catch, and it could be fatal.”
Minister Manickchand added that there is an active campaign to prevent students from loitering on bus parks. The Ministry has been working along with the Joint Services to ensure students are safe outside of the schools’ environs.
“We are engaging the task force which comprises of the police and the army as members along with other people, looking at bus parks to make sure children don’t gather up in the afternoon,” she said adding that there needs to be a constant reminder that COVID-19 is still an active threat.
It has been three weeks since schools have reopened their doors for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and Minister Manickchand says there has been continuous monitoring to ensure persons adhere to the COVID-19 preventative measures.
“We have not let up on the information campaign and the permanent education campaign. We’re trying to work with Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs), and a lot are active in the schools trying to do monitoring.”
The Education Minister noted that although it is the older students who are back in school, every effort is being made to ensure their safety. The Ministry of Education had worked tirelessly to ensure schools were sanitised and equipped with resources for social distancing and hand sanitation before the November 9 restart.
Minister Manickchand said about 70 per cent of the senior students have turned out to school. This, she said, was good news, and showed the students’ willingness to learn.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is looking into the circumstances surrounding those students who have not returned to school. While the Ministry supports the decision by parents who opt to keep their children engaged at home, measures will have to be put in place to assist those facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.