Director of Education, Clare Browne, is appealing to everyone with an interest in education to maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19.
He said it is necessary if schools are to remain open.
The second term of the academic year commenced on Monday, with schools functioning under strict COVID-19 protocols, taking into consideration student population and classroom space.
With a recent spike in cases recorded over the Christmas season, Mr. Browne stressed the importance of personal responsibility in ensuring the school system does not encounter major setbacks.
“When the COVID numbers go up, definitely the first place to shut down is our schools. We really want to do everything, continue to practise all the protocols because it is not just about getting vaccinated or boosted. If we get vaccinated and boosted but we do not practise the protocols, the numbers will go up.
“We do not want the healthcare system to be overwhelmed, because once that happens, schools will shut down and we really want to keep our students in schools, we want to keep schools open for as long as we can,” the director stated.
Clare Browne expressed optimism about the new term, but is concerned the ministry’s plans for advancing education could be derailed if the virus continues to spread and more people are infected and hospitalised.
“I want to appeal to all of us to do whatever it takes to ensure that we not only protect ourselves, but we protect our children and we ensure that the education system continues to operate.”
The director of education issued a reminder that where children are concerned, schools are not just places where they receive an education. He declared institutions of learning are also places of security and stability.
“It is important for us to keep them stable, to keep them mentally in a good place and one way of ensuring that is to ensure that they continue to go to school, where they can interact with their peers in a face-to-face way, physically distant of course, but that they are able to stay socially connected.”