Minister for Education, Premila Kumar says she is delighted to see our school family back together, however we must not lose sight of the fact that COVID-19 is still very much in our midst, a number of cases are still detected on a daily basis and this is likely to continue.
Kumar says between home and school, students will inevitably get in contact with others such as the travelling public, bus drivers, public service vehicle workers, and shop and office workers.
She says it is incumbent upon every individual to exercise caution and adhere to all COVID safe measures.
The Education Minister says laxity by anyone (including students and parents) can present a risk to the students.
Kumar says as citizens, let us take a collective responsibility to ensure that through our own actions we don’t endanger the health and safety of others, in particular our children.
She says if you, your child, or anyone in the household develops any symptoms it is vitally important that the child stays home until all clear.
Kumar has welcomed years 8 to 13 students back to classes.
She says it is a very critical time for years 12 and 13 as they will be sitting for their exams.
The Education Minister says for years 8 to 11, this term is the final term for the academic year 2021 and it is vital that students complete their work before they start the new academic year 2022 in April.
She says we all have been going through trying times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kumar says despite that they have endured and showed resilience by closely following the frequent and timely advisories from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the partners WHO and UNICEF.
She also says prioritizing education after substantial loss of hours of face to face learning is crucial, more than ever before.
Kumar says she has visited a number of schools in the country over the past one month and she is impressed to see the high level of preparedness by heads of schools, teachers and the school management and the eagerness of teachers to welcome students back to classes.
She says as schools reopen, teachers and other school staff can play a key role in protecting and supporting their students.
The Minister also says teachers and other ancillary staff are the first contact for children outside of their family after months of home confinement, allowing children to report if they are not feeling well.
She also says for Early Childhood Education up to year 7, she will be announcing the dates of reopening of classes in due course.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations