LETTER: Do not reopen schools for face-to-face sessions until September 2021


Dear Hon. Daryll S Matthew,

I humbly write this letter to plead with you not to reopen schools for face to face sessions until September 2021! The following are my reasons:

1. Most teachers have received only  their first dose of the vaccine! Their second dose will be administered in June and only until two weeks after they would be fully protected. This means that teachers can still spread the virus to students and students can still spread the virus to teachers!

2. Only 25 680 persons in Antigua and Barbuda have gotten their first dose of the vaccine! This means that our students are still exposed to the deadly virus at home and by interacting with other students and teachers!

3. Although the schools have certain protocols in place, there is no way that the administration can ensure that the students maintain social distance at all times and adequately follow the other health protocols! Students are known to socialize despite the seriousness of the pandemic! Any student who becomes ill as a result of the face to face class , I can see the Ministry of Education and by extension ,the government, facing severe consequences!

4. I have been an educator for the past 27 years and I can tell you with confidence that there are only 5 teaching weeks in term 3. Of the 11 weeks allocated to term 3, 1 week is for planning, 5 weeks for teaching, 1 week for revision, two weeks for exams and two weeks for marking and preparing school records and promotion. We have lost one year of solid teaching but it won’t hurt us to give up 5 more weeks! Five more weeks of learning cannot compensate for the year we have lost  as a result of Covid19 Virus!

5. The number of active cases along with a high number of weekly infections have caused the government to extend the state of emergency and keep the curfew at 8 pm to 5 am! To send students back to school to participate in face to face classes in such large numbers, in light of the above, would be very irresponsible and defeat the purpose of the government keeping the citizens safe at this time.

The following are some recommendations that the Ministry of Education can consider:

1. Continue virtual learning until the school year ends in late June.

2. Allow only those students who will be writing grade 6 assessment , CSEC and CAPE to meet face to face with no more that 15 students at any given time! This should continue until we reach herd immunity or we see the number of weekly infections drop significantly and the number of active cases significantly decline!

3. Continue to provide tablets to students who desperately need them so that they can meaningfully participate in the virtual learning process! Virtual learning will become the norm and we should embrace it! We can improve on our deficiency!

I do hope that my contribution would be seen as very beneficial in guiding the Ministry of Education in making the best decision for our students, teachers and nation!

Respectfully submitted
Troy  Allen

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  1. Troy Allen you have said quite a mouthful….. What you have advocated is certainly a word to the wise…. The ministry may need to understand that in this present situation, hurry may not make waste, but it may create a disaster…… Moreso a health disaster!!

    • They don’t care I know zone officers which saying even if it’s one student teach them what happen to the 99% of the class that can’t afford it.
      You all ppl with money ditto on high chairs and just say yes and not think about another.

  2. What about the kids that don’t have internet, tablet, phones or computers??? What about the kids that need to have more explanations? You really want to f*# those kids future???? did you read that 30% of kids, with this pandemic have dropped out of school, and can hardly understand a simple text!!!
    Stop beiing so selfish!!

  3. What about the fact that children are not even contracting Covid. I mean they can’t even take this so called vaccine that should be good for you guys. The kids are the duncest they have ever been because of the lost of the school year 2020. The kids aren’t learning a damn thing with the remote learning. I guess all of you are still stuck on stupid believing this entire Covid joke. How are we not contracting Covid at a faster rate through money? How many of you dummies are sanitizing your monies before and after you pass them to someone else? Open the schools. Vaccine? What will be the brand of your second dose? Are you dummies going to actually take a second dose of a different brand than Astra Zeneca? Cuz if you don’t know that shit been pulled off the market. No one will want that if it’s re introduced! How can the kids pass on something that they can’t even seem to contract? How many of you have kids who have ever gotten Covid? And how many of them died. I’m over all this Covid nonsense.

  4. For someone who claims to be an educator for 27 years should know the proper use of an exclamation mark, and the over use thereof!

  5. Surprised none has pointed to the major flaw in point 2. The vaccine protection ( from severe illness and death) does not start 2 weeks after the second dose, its actually 12-14 days after the first. What you could argue is the jury is still out on whether this vaccine will stop the spread of covid. There has been some results which indicate it does but more testing is needed. Data so far shows evidence that its lessens viral shedding by those infected who are inoculated , but again more testing is needing

  6. dumbest comments I’ve ever read. Either some of you guys on here don’t have kids or you just don’t care about their well being. this writer made valid points why rush to reopen schools? what happens if students take home the virus to their families then what? there will be more community spread and more chaos. parents need to invest in their kids. we still see some of them on social media with lavish birthday outfits in expensive hotels and guest houses partying with long nails and weave etc get the tools the children need (internet, laptop/computer/tablet) and be patience with the kids (come off Facebook and WhatsApp) and guide the kids so they can understand their lessons. I cant believe you guys have the heart to be calling our future generation dunces then you ask for respect as elderlies. some children are slow and some learn faster than others. Some are good at math and nothing else some are good at English and nothing else. they just need guidance which is very rare again I say parents are more focused on spending their time on social media. be your neighbors’ keeper if you have Wi-Fi/internet a device which you do not use help!!

    • Amen, seems like some of these parents just lazy, they can actually sit and help their kids to learn, go through the text books with them and teach them, at least till September, whether it’s after work you do some teaching or if you’re not working then you have the while day to sit with them and teach them yourselves from the text books, buy a whiteboard cause almost all of us did went to school too, there’s alot of educational material on youtube and the internet too, i support the writer and also Troy Allen

  7. As I understand what is happening many work places don’t …..not everyone is fortune to have a babysitter everyday….. with children home until September what are we to do if we cannot find a everyday babysitter and where I work I cannot walk with my kids…. And I can’t just let any ole tom dick or harry watch my children the way things are going I might get fired this year after 12 years and it will be because I have no one to watch my kids at least not everyday am running out of option and if school closes until September I’ll loose my job …. Where I work no one cares they just want u to show up and work not caring that u have a family …. But I’ll keep my faith in the creator of heaven and earth strong whatever is his will let it be done

  8. I agree with mr .allen… y’all under ya dunce nf.. r u cant tap home n teach are u pickney them.. chupzzz

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