With public health officials giving the all clear to St George Primary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School after the Ministry of Health investigated COVID-19 exposures, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw is imploring parents to use these cases as a cautionary tale to their children, to take the health protocols seriously.
During the COVID-19 update on Sunday, Bradshaw said though most students were strictly abiding by the health protocols currently in place, some were still not following the health rules consistently.
“There have been many concerns regarding the school environment; I have heard much concern about whether the students are wearing masks, and for the most part, a lot of our students are wearing their masks and abiding by the various protocols. I would urge parents to use this exercise as a learning curve for many of you,” Bradshaw said.
“If the students were not wearing their masks before, again, I implore you to require your students as they are going to school, to have their masks available, and also to adhere to protocols in the schools. This has taught us that we have to pay greater attention to the protocols, and therefore it is important that students adhere to the mask wearing. Not just in the classroom, not just outside on the corridors, but they need to adhere to it on their way to school.”
Bradshaw also stressed that despite the anxiousness of some parents, schools have continued to be a safe haven for students during these several months of COVID-19, and if protocols continued to be followed, they can remain so.
“All of the medical evidence is suggesting that once you put the necessary protocols in place, once those protocols are enforced, that it is rather safe to go back into the school environment. The risk in terms of our students is rather low, and therefore while students are part of the wider community and are in households where adults may contract the virus, the reality is we can’t stop them from contracting it, but we have to make sure as we have done, that we provide the monitors at the entrance of the schools to test the temperature, that we have the protocols in place that if they are feeling unwell, that teachers know what to do.
“At each juncture we are simply trying to allow some level of normalcy in a very abnormal environment to return, but what this Government will not do, is simply do nothing. I think that needs to be appreciated and understood.”