4th Wave of COVID-19 Keeps Students Out of the Classroom
Click to Listen Now
As COVID-19 rage across the globe and health officials worry that Omicron could be in the country, the Ministry of Health announced that the reopening of private and public schools will be delayed another two weeks after the Christmas break.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Health and Wellness Minister Michael Darville said though schools were expected to reopen fully on January 11, officials deferred the face-to-face learning.
“In our view, it is not a good thing to reopen schools in the middle of a pandemic. We will wait and act with a degree of caution. When we open, we will open to stay open,” he said.
The reopening of schools sparked a public debate during the pandemic. Schools in the country have been shut to face-to-face learning for nearly two years as the country battled the pandemic.
The Ministry of Health implemented a hybrid learning format to accommodate students’ learning. However, some students were being left behind and not logging onto the virtual platform.
Why it matters
The country is in the fourth wave of the pandemic, battling a spur of daily, new cases. Officials believe the Omicron virus is the country though not confirmed. They are awaiting lab results from Panama.
They have ruled New Providence as the epicenter of the virus and the crux of the sharp increase in cases is in the capital.
Christmas day, a record, breaking number of 330 cases were reported, which was a combination of cases over a few days. 85 cases were recorded on December 26; 159 cases on December 27; 65 cases on December 28;
What Minister of Education Glenny’s Hanna Martin says
Newly-appointed Minister of Education Glennys Hanna-Martin said her ministry accelerated works to quickly reopen schools, but the pandemic halted its plans.
She said the ministry will act on the advice of health officials.
“We will monitor it, come back to the table, assess where we are. That’s where we are at this moment.”
State of Play
All schools including preschools and daycares will continue virtual learning after the Christmas break.