TTUTA president Antonia Tekah-De Freitas is calling on the Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram to confirm that it is indeed safe and acceptable for teachers, who are yet to receive their second dose of vaccine, to be out for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination.
De Freitas said “Having persons vaccinated with the first dose and going out to supervise is a concern in terms of their level of immunity, and if there are children who are asymptomatic and coming in…it is a major health and safety concern.”
In a GML interview, she noted that the number of active cases in T&T in June to mid-August 2020 was just under 700 then, “but at that time, Cabinet took a decision in the interest of the students to postpone the exam until August.”
“Now this year, it is almost 11 times that at 7,800 active cases as at Wednesday and you are going ahead with the examination.”
She also added that the education ministry’s announcement that pre-entry screening protocols were in place had been a shock for all school principals.
De Freitas said this has not been clearly outlined and asked “Is it the testers or the school administrators that are expected to do this screening? What plans are in place in case the weather changes while the screening is taking place, since some schools do not have sheltered areas at their entry points?”
She said “At the end of the day, we are still concerned about the health and safety and well-being of our education professionals and the students who have been at home for the past two years.”
De Freitas said “They would be be heartened if the CMO would come out and say now is a safe time for persons to be doing examinations, administering and participating in examinations.”