Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he understands the anxiety surrounding the reopening of schools on Monday in a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic environment but urged all stakeholders to follow the guidelines put out by health authorities to curb the spread of the virus that has infected 22 people on the island.
“There are some schools, some classes that will recommence after a long physical break from the classrooms. I know there are anxieties among parents and guardians and students and this is to be expected, but I believe everything will be alright,” Skerrit said during his weekly television programme on Sunday night.
“It is a bold step, it is a very important move by the government. From all reports by the Minister and the staff and myself speaking to several principals across Dominica, they are satisfied we have things generally under control and in place.
“Obviously, there will always be some teething problems and challenges…(but) we have to follow the guidelines, the Ministry of Education has given a booklet on guidelines for bus drivers, for conductors, for principals, for teachers, for parents, for students…”
Skerrit said that once the guidelines are followed “we are making a huge positive contribution to stave off this virus in our country”.
Education Minister, Octavia Alfred, said there will be an assessment of students during the first week of the school term and to determine appropriate remedial action for those who would have been affected.
“I encourage all concerned that in the midst of our challenges we shall remain strong and steadfast, placing the well-being of our children always at the forefront of our minds.
‘As we grapple with this crisis we call for collective efforts and responsibilities to advance the interest of all of our Dominican children. At some point, this pandemic will be over. This storm must pass,” she added.