A group of students walk along Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain.

Hours before Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday admitted that Trinidad and Tobago was in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, the Education Ministry said the country’s health situation will be considered as plans are discussed for the reopening of schools in January 2022.

Extending condolences to the family of the minor who passed away as a result of COVID-19 on the weekend, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly yesterday said, “The Ministry of Education is saddened by the death of any child or fellow citizen.”

The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday declined to reveal the age of the child or any information related to the case as they cited patient confidentiality.

However, Gadsby-Dolly said, “Based on the information from the MoH, the child was not of the age for physical school attendance.”

Only students in Forms Four to Six are currently being allowed to attend classes physically.

Asked if the minor’s death could lead to a change in the Education Ministry’s current policy decision on hosting face-to-face classes and how they would move ahead with plans for the start of the second academic term in January 2022, the Minister assured, “The health situation will be a major consideration in the discussion re: operation of all schools in January 2022.”

The Ministry of Education is scheduled to meet with the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) and other stakeholders this week to discuss their recommendations for schools operations as Term II of the academic year 2021/2022 will get underway when schools open next year.