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JM | Nov 19, 2021

Holness hopeful all schools will resume face-to-face classes in January 2022

Ategie Edwards

Ategie Edwards / Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Photo: JIS)

The Andrew Holness-led government has all intentions to resume face-to-face classes for all schools in January 2022, provided that the state of the country makes it conducive to do so.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have had to attend classes virtually and have done so for nearly a year and a half. Talks of resuming face-to-face classes were brought up in the past, however a spike in the COVID-19 cases delayed plans to do so.

During a tour of Westmoreland on Thursday (November 19), Holness addressed the status of the reopening of schools. So far, a number of schools have begun reopening. He highlighted the underpopulated schools located in remote areas that can be reopened and stated that some have begun to do so.

“There are schools that can reopen because they are underpopulated and in remote areas and those schools have started to come back and others, are putting in place the required protocols to do so, for example, some schools do not have isolation rooms and they are trying to put those in place,” Holness said.

The prime minister said infant schools have reopened and are doing well, detailing that these schools seem to have things under control and teachers and students alike are very happy about returning to the physical space.

A female student at the Salem Primary and Junior High School in Westmoreland wash her hands while others wait their turn. (Photo: JIS)

The primary level is currently undergoing a phased reopening. There are number of institutions at this level that have reopened and are following COVID-19 protocols.

Schools that are yet to open are in preparation do so.

Holness said the challenge the Government is now facing is to have all schools reopen at once without a higher level of vaccination.

Face-to-face classes resumed earlier this month and the Government has no intention of closing schools once again.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on November 16, Holness said there are schools that have reported a possible exposure to the virus. These schools have remained open but have been instructed to sanitise, clean up, isolate the child and keep them at home.

“So we’re not gonna close the schools again. People are nearing the point of frustration due the constant imposition of strict COVID measures,” Holness said.

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