Schools are one of the two main sources of spread of the covid19 virus, and are being watched closely, especially as the SEA examination date looms.
He said another school had to be closed recently due to exposure to covid19.
“I believe we will keep the SEA exercise on watch for another few days and, if the trend continues in any significant way, the next couple days we will have to act on the school system. The August 20 SEA examination date is still on but the minute we get the impression the risk to children is too great, we will take action.”
The Prime Minister said the classes would not be affected by the gathering size of 10 people, a reduction from 25 people, as schools should have protocols in place to protect students, teachers and staff.
Addressing concerns that any changes to the SEA classes would result in some children being disadvantaged, as the playing field would not be level, based on access to technology and other resources, he said while this was a reality, it was not a new phenomenon.
“There have always been some people who were able to pay for lessons or pay for high school going further back. We’re having the discussion at the national level now only because there isn’t a logistically sound alternative but continue, because of the pandemic we are experiencing.”
He said what made the difference is that all students were going to get placed.
“What I expect to happen, going down the road, if the loss of teaching that obviously took place, and obviously will have affected some children, especially underprivileged children, I could see the need for remedial and catchup work. I will leave that to the experts at the ministry of education to ensure that as we place the children in the schools, because they are all going to be placed, then we take into account that some of the children would have been disadvantaged, not by being left out of school but by being in school and may not be as ready as the others were, and if there is a government intervention, it may have to be at that level.”
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