LETTER: Reopen Schools in Antigua & Barbuda

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Dear Honourable Cabinet members of Antigua and Barbuda,

 

As a parent and a teacher, I would like to advocate for a reopening of Primary schools in Antigua and Barbuda as soon as possible. I am a teacher at the Secondary level, and a parent of a Primary student. My immediate concerns are 1) maintaining healthy Covid-prevention practices while 2) still ensuring our children are learning, and able to engage in an academic environment.

 

For me in Secondary online sessions, remote learning is not particularly difficult. It is certainly an adaptation, but my students are mature enough to engage with me remotely; many are able to maintain their previous effort and attention to school work.

 

For my daughter and all of my Primary colleagues, remote learning poses significant challenges. Smaller children have shorter attention spans, less technological proficiency, and require supervision.

 

The closing of Primary schools has few health benefits, increases parental stress, and asks an almost impossible level of adaptation for our Primary school teachers.

 

According to the World Health Organization, data currently “suggests that spread of COVID-19 within educational settings may be limited.” When there have been clusters of cases in schools, it has been with older children: “importantly, early data from studies suggest that infection rates among teenagers may be higher than in younger children.”

 

So, with my sincerest hopes for a healthy and Covid-free country with a well-educated populace, I encourage Cabinet to reopen Primary schools as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your time and attention,

  A concerned parent and teacher

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Of course they should be opened as soon as reasonably possible. No need for the letter

    But guess what?

    The middle of an outbreak in a deadly pandemic it’s not reasonable to reopen schools or even be thinking about it.

    The children will catch up on their education when this is all over.

    Stop trying to pretend these are normal and safe times. They are not

      • The one that is now the leading cause of death in the United States

        The one that kills about 4,000 people PER DAY in the United States

        The one that is now ravaging the Caribbean

        The one that has brought nearly major country after major country to her knees since January 2020

        The one that has ER and ICU doctors in near tears stating that it’s the worse thing they’ve seen in their career.

        I guess you’ve been sleeping for the past 13 months. Must be nice.

        • Since when do a something with a 95% survival is considered deadly. Do you really these number put out by WHO and the media ?

          • Antigua has over 2000 car accidents per year but only 2 or 3 has fatalities, does that mean accidents aint deadly?

            The Covid-19 doesn’t only affect one by killing them but cause serious longterm, long lasting effects on most survivor of covid

  2. @ Duh – I am right there with you. The quicker we adapt to change the better. The world has changed! I understand that most are not worried about children and covid. However, children often visit their grandparents and other relatives. They will catch up on their education. Remote learning/working is the future. Adapt quickly or get left behind

    • They should be worried about children and COVID not just because children spread the disease but because children can and have gotten very sick from COVID. Some have died.

      In the US, most of the children that have died are of African descent or indigenous Americans. Certainly, should be an additional reason for Antiguans to be more cautious considering they share that same ancestry.

      We also do not know what the long-term effects of having COVID will be. We do know that in some people it appears to become reactivated (or possibly just reinfections), but what if that happens in most people?

      This is not a flu. This is not a cold. Doctor after doctor who treat this thing say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen.

      It’s time for everyone to stop playing mental games and realize this is a serious situation we are facing. It is unprecedented in our lifetimes and we are not going to just go back to normal immediately or ASAP if ever.

      Keep your babies home. Keep them safe.

  3. Really now? WHO and whoever else can’t make me expose my child and then say oops our statistics were incorrect. If it is killing adults, it is also killing children. Wha really wrong wid you? Are you really willing to sacrifice your child because someone 20,000 miles away said that they may not die? They still know very little about the disease.

  4. If all primary school children are home, all primary school children will be some months delayed in learning. Lady, is learning more important than life? . Please give me a break! If you concerned about your primary school children’s learning, plenty could-be teachers home unemployed. Employ a special tutor for your children and stop harassing the authorities.

  5. For someone who purports to be a secondary school teacher, I would have thought there would have been a more compelling argument than this.

  6. it’s not just the children. Children may carry it and infect their teachers. You are asking teachers to risk their lives just so the parents can go back to work for the businesses demanding it. Those teachers may then fall ill or spread it to many more members of the community.
    And children as young as 1 year old have died from covid. Dont think there is no risk here.

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