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Minister of Education Anthony Garcia

One day after the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) promised to issue a document advising teachers on the way forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is yet to be made public.

TTUTA’s General Council met yesterday and up to late evening there was no official word on what decisions they had arrived at regarding what was expected of teachers and outlining what their duties and responsibilities would be during the closure of schools.

Following a meeting with the Ministry of Education on Wednesday, TTUTA President Antonia Tekah-De Freitas said the official document would have been submitted following the General Council meeting.

However, ministry officials said they had not received any documents up to 6 pm.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia indicated on Wednesday that there was a strong possibility that schools and tertiary education facilities would not be reopened before September.

Acknowledging the anxiety that Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) students – and by extension, their parents were continuing to experience following the postponement of the exam on April 2, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said the authorities had to be, “Guided by the science of the virus.”

Indicating they did not want to make premature decisions as this could be detrimental later on, Rowley said they continued to look to the relevant health officials for advice.

He urged parents to understand that the current situation was a unique one and they were fighting a war in which their foremost objective was to preserve lives.

Assuring parents that the education of their children remained a priority for government, he appealed for patience as he said scenario planning in the first instance spanned the period until April 30, following which they would review the overall situation and make further decisions.

Rowley said it was imperative for the authorities not to act hastily or prematurely, and possibly allow for a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.