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“We do not support the reopening of schools under these circumstances,” says the UDP on greenlight for optional school reopening on October 4

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Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2021. 9:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has come out reeling against the government’s greenlighting for the optional reopening of schools on October 4, 2021.

The UDP released a statement on Friday hammering the Briceno administration saying, “We are living in a country where crime and violence are out of control, leadership is lacking in every level of government and the people are suffering because our leaders are incompetent to deal with the social problems.”  “Let’s protect our children. We do not support the reopening of schools under these circumstances,” chided the UDP.

The UDP notes that on July 29th, 2021, the number of new COVID-19 cases for that day was forty-five (45). At that time it was the position of the Minister of Education, Hon. Francis Fonseca, that the Ministry of Education will be guided by the public health officials as to whether schools can open in August. With 233 cases on September 30, and 278 the day before, the UDP notes that “the Ministry of Education is now saying that schools can decide if they are ready for some face-to-face classes as of Monday, October 4, 2021.

“Despite a COVID-19 situation that is clearly out of control, despite KHMH’s inability to handle further COVID-19 hospitalization and despite the recent spike in Covid related deaths, it is now safe to send children to school?” the UDP questions.

The UDP recommends that Managing Authorities and schools rely on the guidance and recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to determine readiness. And in the case where community spread is clearly established, teachers and students should be kept safe by using remote learning. 

In its release, the UDP notes that “We all want a safe return to school and call on the respective Ministries to provide the needed support and guidance to schools instead of leaving schools in the wind during this rushed and unjustified reopening.”

The UDP also recommends that Managing Authorities demand that the medical officials NOT the Minister of Health organize a Press Conference and respond to the questions and concerns of the public since the confirmed cases are increasing.” In the absence of a Press Conference, the UDP recommends that the Ministry poll the parents “to ascertain their perspectives in this very important decision” on the reopening of schools.

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