Manickchand sees no reason schools should not reopen in September
- concerned about severely ill COVID-19 children
Education Minister, Priya Manickchand on Tuesday said the goal for the reopening of schools remains September 2021 once it is safe to do so. She, however, assured that the decision on a date will only be made once health authorities give the green light.
But in so doing, the minister has also expressed concern with the incidents of severely ill COVID-19 children, calling on parents and teachers to ensure they are vaccinated.
The Education Minister, during an interview with the News Room on Tuesday, said the closure of schools over the last year has shown the weaknesses in the system with all international studies pointing to the harmful effect on education that the closure has engendered.
Schools in Guyana have been closed since March 2020 with reopening done for specific grades in preparation for local and regional examinations.
“The longer we stay home, the longer we keep school closed, the longer we will have to catch up [with] work and the more difficult it will be.
“We have to open school as early as we can, as safely as we can. There isn’t a reason we can’t go back to school in September,” Manickchand told the News Room.
She assured that the reopening of schools will be done to ensure the safety of children amid a call for all adults to be vaccinated.
“We have enough vaccines for herd immunity and we are trying to access vaccines for children, the Pfizer, but the aim remains to get back in September that’s why we have started the rollout of the cash grant and uniform voucher distribution,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, Manickchand said she was very concerned about reports of children becoming seriously ill because of COVID-19.
“Those children didn’t get COVID from the sky, they got it from people and we can stop this if we are all vaccinated,” she added.
She said vaccination of adults is the best option now. There are currently two children in the ICU at the Liliendaal Hospital; two others are also hospitalised at the same facility.