Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has described the reopening of schools in Dominica today as a bold step but very important move by the government and the Ministry of Education.
“It is a bold step, it is a very important move by the government and the Ministry of Education, from all the reports from the minister and the staff and myself speaking to several principals across Dominica that they are satisfied that we have things generally under control and in place,” the prime minister stated.
Students are returning to the classroom amidst renewed anxiety over the confirmation of four positive COVID-19 cases since the reopening of Dominica’s borders. However, the prime minister expressed confidence that all will be well.
“There are some schools and some classes who will recommence after a long physical break from the classrooms, I know that there are anxieties among parents and guardians and students, and this is accepted, but I believe everything will be alright,” he said.
Skerrit urged the public to follow the protocols and guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Education.
“We have to follow the guidelines. The Ministry of Education has given a whole booklet on guidelines for bus drivers, for conductors, for principals and for teachers for parents, for students and we just need to follow the guidelines,” he reasoned.
Speaking during his weekly Anou Palay programme, the prime minister acknowledged that there will always be some teething problems and challenges.
“We just have to keep practising,” he insisted.
Meantime, Education Minister Octavia Alfred said her ministry is working to ensure that students continue to learn in a safe environment.
“The ministry stands ready to provide support principals, teachers and parents to ensure that students continue to learn and thrive in a safe environment,” she said.
According to Alfred, as previously stated, her ministry also encouraged the assessment of students during the first week and to determine the appropriate remediation for those who have fallen behind.
Alfred encouraged all concerned that in the midst of the challenges, “we shall remain strong and steadfast, placing the well-being of all our children always on the forefront of our minds.”
“As we grapple with this crisis, we call for collective effort and responsibility to advance the interest of all our Dominican children,” Alfred stated. “At some point this pandemic will be over, this storm must pass.”
She added, “The spirit that all of you have shown over the past few months gives me the confidence that we will emerge from this crisis with a stronger, more resilient education system.”
Skerrit who was speaking during his one-on-one Anou Palay programme last night said generally things are under control.