The government’s decision to reopen schools for a hybrid approach to learning has been met with much criticism from the public as it pertains to the safety of students. The move comes after students have been out of the classroom for close to two years. Many believe that re-introducing children back into the classroom will result in an even higher spread of COVID-19. Deputy Director of the Central Health Region, Dr. Melissa Diaz Musa responded to the criticisms saying that the Ministry of Health has set out guidelines to ensure the safety of students who will return to the classrooms this month.
Dr.Melissa Dias, Deputy Manager, Central Health Region: “Well of course we are cautious. We are working closely with the Ministry of Education, some schools had opened the latter part of last year November and December so it gave us an opportunity to see what worked and what didn’t. The Ministry of Education they’re doing a lot of visual aids and the Ministry of Health as well along with the help from PAHO we’ve produced a lot of posters, different flyers in order for children and teachers to learn a lot more about COVID and the way it spreads. I feel that yes you say kids will be kids but children from the experience last year children have remained very focused and it’s a big difference when they’re at home then when they’re in the classroom. Remember it’s hybrid learning so nobody will go back with a lot of kids in one classroom for eight hours a day. It’s half the class and half the time but I think it’s important to go back to school. Our children have not been in school for almost two years and that will definitely impact them and we need to just look at the readiness of the school, improve the vaccination for teachers and for the students as best as possible and ensure that we keep in close contact with the schools to ensure that the public health measures are taken to ensure that people aren’t sick in classes and we need to be able to act quickly if we do see an increase in transmission in any school.“