St. Vincent Opposition Leader Calls for Details About Plans to Reopen Schools

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent,– Leader of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP),  Godwin Friday says that Education Minister Curtis King must give details on how students are to return to the classroom safely on April 12.

GODWIILOpposition leader Godwin FridayHe made the comment following reports that students are scheduled to return to the physical classroom on April 12 for the first time this year, following an uptick in COVID-19 cases late December.

The number of active cases has since fallen dramatically, standing at 141 on Saturday, down from a high of over 1,000 a few weeks ago.

Speaking during a recent press conference, Friday said that it is important for students return to the classroom, but this should only be done if it is safe to do so.

“The current upsurge in COVID-19 cases here and the death of 10 people have understandably caused great pause among our people, [causes] fears; and people have retreated.”

He said that most people have responded by taking and continuing to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and others, especially the wearing of face masks.

“This is what I understand the teachers — who are the ones who deliver the program, and they know what their students are missing out on — to be saying.

“We must also reflect on how they are going to make up for the lost time.”

“With young people, where you are building the foundation at primary school, you don’t say, well, ‘Them things past, we done leave those subjects behind, let’s move on to something else’, because the one builds upon the other, so we have to have the foundation properly laid, so we have to go back and lay that foundation now or when we can do so, the soonest we can do so,” Friday said.