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Diego Martin North Secondary School Form Four students leave the school compound at the end of the day yesterday.

“It is a great feeling to be able to see my friends after almost a year at home and being able to interact with my teachers again. It was an unbelievable experience.”

This was the word from a Form Four student of the Diego Martin North Secondary School, minutes after he exited the compound yesterday.

He assured, “We are adhering to the COVID-19 protocols to stay six feet away from each other, wear our masks and sanitise.”

Vowing never to take the opportunity to attend class for granted again, the 16-year-old Diego Martin resident added, “It is a great experience after the past year to be able to interact with people outside of my house again.”

Unfazed by reports that a teacher had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus last week, the student said school officials continue to sanitise the classrooms being used as soon as sessions are concluded daily.

Officials from the Ministry of Education yesterday confirmed the teacher’s last day at school was on April 15 and that, “the school has been cleaned using COVID protocols multiple times since then.”

However, a 16-year-old female Form Four student told Guardian Media that she had opted to log in to classes online as “this is my preferred medium right now.”

Saying the Forms Four and Five students who were allowed to return to school on February 8, had been given the option to attend classes physically or continue with online learning—the young woman said, “I don’t come to school every day, as I can stay home and still do the work.”

Asked if she had doubts about returning and interacting with others, she shook her head in confirmation.

Form Five students attend classes from Monday through Wednesday, while Form Four students have their opportunity on Thursday and Friday.

Administrative officials yesterday said there were no more than 40 people at the school at any given time, which included students, school officials, janitorial staff and the guards.

Another student said he was happy to be back as he had been receiving help to complete his School-Based Assessment (SBA). His friend added, “It feels good to see people I didn’t see in a long time but I kinda keeping to myself because I don’t want to get the virus.

“I coming to school for my own good and I have a purpose because I need to do my work.”