COVID: 17 schools closed in one week as teachers test positive; online classes continue
Last week, about 17 schools were forced to close temporarily since some teachers were infected with COVID-19.
This is according to Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, who spoke at an event on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in Liliendaal, Georgetown. Many schools have reopened for face-to-face classes when the new academic year started on September 6th. With the reopening of schools, teachers were asked to be vaccinated or present the results of a PCR COVID-19 test, showing that they are not COVID positive.
Since then, it has been reported that some teachers have contracted the coronavirus and, on Wednesday, the Education Minister said, “… we reopened schools last week and unfortunately we’ve had to close 17 in one week.”
She hastened to add, “Every country in this world who has found a solution to get their children back into the classroom has had to deal with very similar issues.”
Importantly, too, the minister said that the ministry has been working to provide healthcare kits to the teachers who have been infected and that each teacher has been supported throughout the processes of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
It is unclear whether children, who returned to schools for face-to-face classes, have been infected too.
Meanwhile, responding to questions about how the school children are engaged under these circumstances, Manickchand related that online engagements and the use of the worksheets would continue.
She also said that in some cases, entire schools have not been closed.
“If a head teacher did not come into contact with anyone and she is positive, then there is no need to close the school except for sanitising,” the minister explained.
Even with the temporary closures of some schools due to infections, the minister contended that schools’ reopening is necessary to prevent increasing learning losses. She reported that some 1,000 primary school children have dropped out from schools, while others in secondary schools have left the school system earlier than expected.