COVID dampens DAT anniversary activities; association calls on teachers to get vaccinated

The 30th anniversary celebrations of the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) will be scaled down this year due to the cancellation of one the major activities planned for the occasion.

DAT president Mervin Alexander has announced that the grand teacher’s rally carded for Friday, October 1, which promised “to exhibit and promote the hidden talents of the teaching fraternity” has been canceled.

According to Alexander, another DAT flagship event, the primary and secondary schools Spelling Bee Competition has been postponed, “hopefully to February 2022,” and Teacher Appreciation Day will be observed “differently.”

He expressed “a heartfelt gratitude,” on behalf of the the DAT executive, to all teachers for their current efforts towards educating the nation’s children.

“Today we pause to applaud your efforts and salute you,” he stated. “You continue to exhibit true professionalism, notwithstanding the obstacles you have been confronted with.”

Acknowledging the “invigorated” response of  teachers in this COVID-19 challenged situation, “to adopt and use different modalities to impact knowledge to our students,” Alexander encouraged school children, though they may not be physically present in the classroom, to “still express their gratitude to teachers around the island on Thursday, September 30th – Teachers Appreciation Day.

“You can use creative and innovative ways of doing so,” Alexander urged. “For example, make use of the radio stations and send the messages through social media expressing your love and appreciation for your teachers.”

On the issue of COVID-19 vaccination, the DAT president encouraged teachers to “consider getting vaccinated” reminding them that they are educators and such, should “do your research, observe what is happening and protect yourself and your loved ones from this virus.”

“Some of you will be expected to travel by public transportation to get to your school and probably share limited space with colleagues,” he noted…”Remember infection is not written on anyone’s face, so you need to do everything in your power to ensure that you do not get this dreaded virus.”

To strengthen his argument, Alexander opined that the evidence is clear that even if a vaccinated individual gets exposed to the virus, the possibility of getting gravely ill is significantly  reduced.

“You also need to think of your family at home and your colleagues who may have underlying medical conditions,” Alexander noted. “Let’s not be selfish, but protect ourselves and others we love and care for.”