Education Minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, will make an announcement about the physical reopening of schools, this afternoon. (Image courtesy Ministry of Education)

Acting Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Vijay Maharaj, believes the Ministry of Education, at its Press Conference today, will postpone the physical reopening of schools.

The Ministry’s press briefing is scheduled for 2, this afternoon.

On February 8th, Standard Fives and students in Forms Four to Six were expected to return to school.

“I believe that we have become a nation that is paranoid,” Maharaj said.

A move, he said, which will affect the nation’s children mental health further.  He observed that children are beginning to hurt themselves.

“Our children are not accustomed to being locked down for 10 months.  They need to socialise and attend school,” Maharaj said.

Vijay Maharaj, acting Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha.

Maharaj’s comments come in the wake of Monday’s death by suicide of a nine-year-old student at one of the Maha Sabha’s schools—the Caroni Hindu School. 

“It’s happening a lot and it will get progressively worst.,” the senior Maha Sabha official predicted.

“They are stuck at home 24/7.  The child has no room to play, to expand, to socialise.  Particularly if it’s a single child, he’s locked in his room and then he starts to experiment with computer devices and then the dark web,” he said.

Maharaj refused to comment more on the child’s death, however, stating only that “the family is in mourning”.

The SDMS Secretary General told Guardian Media that he is not trying to disregard the importance of health and medicine, but he maintains the sanity of children should be at the forefront.  He says it is time to move on.

“Other than health, health, health all the time, we have to start to talk about the mental health of our children, and I am seeing it on a daily basis,” he said.

Maharaj said he thinks the Ministry of Education will allow students in Form Four and Five to do Labs and SBAs, but not the phased reopening of schools.