BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - FOLLOWING consultations with the health authorities on the possibility of reopening schools on Monday (Jan. 10) amidst the growing positive COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Education was expected to make an announcement yesterdat (Dec. 7).
That confirmation came from the Minister of Education, Jonel Powell, in a release posted to social media, where he sought to assure parents and the public at large that the Ministry of Education “has been closely monitoring the current health situation in the country”.
Since the announcement that the Ministry of Health received confirmation of the first cases of the Omicron Variant, the Federation recorded more than 500 con nfirmed cases of COVID-19.
“Consequently, the Ministry has been engaged in a series of meetings and consultations, including with the Ministry of Education.
“Both Ministries and the Government generally hold the view that every effort is needed to facilitate classroom instructions and that the closure of schools would only be a last resort,” the Minister noted.
With the Government eyeing Monday (Jan. 10)), as the date for the reopening of schools, the Ministry of Education is currently working to prepare for that date but is awaiting guidance from the health authorities to determine if it would be safe to do so.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Government had, as of September, reported more than 600 students had tested positive for the virus. And Minister Powell revealed to reporters that parents were knowingly sending their sick children to the classrooms.
As the Government moves to reopen schools across the country, Minister Powell urged parents to consider having their children, ages 12-17 years old, vaccinated at the soonest possible time to provide an extra layer of protection.
The vaccination rate for children has slowed over recent weeks, but the Ministry believes that the health and safety of all students, teachers and staff “must be given top priority”.
According to Powell, once a final decision was taken yesterday, further announcements would be made by senior officials in the Ministry of Education.