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Director of Education encourages mask wearing in schools  

With the government’s mask mandate becoming optional from tomorrow, the Director of Education is cautioning against complacency.

Schools reopened for full face-to-face learning yesterday, with the Cabinet announcing students are allowed to move around on school compounds without masks.

But Clare Browne said educators, students and parents should be reminded that though COVID-19 positive cases are on the decline, the country continues to operate in a pandemic and persons should not let down their guards.

“Though there would have been at the national level a relaxation of some of the COVID-19 management policies, we want to strongly encourage in our schools make wearing.”

“The government would have said as of the 16th of March, mask wearing is optional. But we in the Ministry of Education are strongly, strongly, strongly encouraging that in our schools, our students and teachers and principals and all others who operate within schools, continue to wear masks,” Mr. Browne stated.

He gave the assurance that protocols which will remain in place by the government will be followed. Additionally, the director of education is informing parents not to send their sick children to school, where they will likely expose other students to the illness they have contracted. If anybody comes to any school with flu-like symptoms, then rest assured that the principal is going to call you very nicely and ask you to come get your son or daughter, and so keep them at home.

“We cannot afford for all the gains that we would have made through our stringent COVID-9 management policies, to be eroded by irresponsible behaviour.”

According to the director of education, over the last two years, the education system has functioned without any major incidents, therefore, it is imperative that the status quo remains the same, which will require those in the education system to act responsibly.

Many of the public schools in Antigua and Barbuda had already returned to full face-to-face learning, with the exception of four public primary and nine public secondary schools. Those institutions have since joined the 35 others that had resumed regular operations.

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