Safe reopening of schools top priority for Education Minister

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The safe reopening of schools in keeping with children’s constitutional right to be educated is the top priority for the newly appointed Minister of Educated Priya Manickchand.

Manickchand who served previously as Minister of Education in the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government before it lost the 2015 election, was sworn in once again as Education Minister on Wednesday.

She said there are several major issues to be addressed in the education sector but none before the COVID-19 situation and the reopening of schools is worked out.

“It [COVID-19] has affected the education sector very widely and needs to be properly thought out,” she said.

Schools have been closed in Guyana since March with those sitting examinations at the primary and secondary level returning only to sit those examinations.

Manickchand told the News Room moments after taking her Oath of Office at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre that she will work with her technical officers and other relevant agencies using statistics and science in determining what to do.

She could not say at this point whether schools will be reopened as is usually done in September.

“It is not an easy question to face…it cannot be resolved within a day,” she added.

The new Minister pointed to what has happened in other countries using the bubble method.

“For Guyana, the bubble method sounds nice on paper but can schools accommodate that?” she asked.

Manickchand believes it would be precipitous to speak about that right now but promised to address the issue with urgency.

“As a parent, I am concerned, teachers are worried and we will answer those questions early, the issue will be addressed early with the best information to keep children safe,” she noted.

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