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Teachers, parents must take vaccines for schools to be reopened

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 July 2021, 21:15 by Denis Chabrol

Education Minister Priya Manickchand chatting with parents at the launch of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant programme in Linden.

President Irfaan Ali on Thursday appealed to teachers to get vaccinated and help pave the way for the reopening of face-to-face classes for all schools because the evidence shows that the the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to affect children.

“We have to get back to school, we have to put the measures in place, we have to get vaccinated, the teachers have to get vaccinated and create the condition to ensure that we get back to school and that is what we are aiming for,” he told reporters at State House.

His appeal came on the heels of Education Minister Priya Manickchand saying earlier this week that 2,600 students did not write the recently held National Grade Six Assessment mock examinations and that the results were “worrying.”

The President highlighted that the medium to long-term impact of COVID-19 on education would be felt when an assessment is conducted.

Earlier Thursday, Ms. Manickchand sounded yet another appeal, this time in Linden, for parents to be vaccinated against the viral disease. She said government would be importing vaccines for children 12 to 17 years old and while taking the jab is not compulsory, the parents must consider having their children take the jab. “It is not a mandatory thing, but I’m begging you to consider it and to take this  vaccine. Do this for our children. It’s a plea, I’m begging you,” she said.

The Education Minister also appealed to parents to take the COVID-19 vaccine or schools would not be reopened for in-person classes. “If you don’t take this vaccine, I can’t open schools and if we don’t open schools your children will suffer. All these dreams we had of what they will be when they grow up will be affected. It is one of the realities of the times we’re living. You are their only shield,” she said.

Ms. Manickchand was Thursday addressing the launch of government’s ‘Because We Care’ GYD$19,000 cash grant programme at the Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School.