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President of the National Primary School Principals’ Association (NAPSPA) Lance Mottley has raised concerns about a directive from the Ministry of Education for principals to gather data on students in the school feeding programme and those in Standard Five who do not have electronic devices or internet connectivity.

Mottley said the instruction for principals to go to their respective schools and collate the data contradicts the Prime Minister’s statement that schools are closed.

“While NAPSPA has encouraged principals to provide the data, it has advised principals against going to schools to get it. NAPSPA recommends that if principals have that information readily available, they should provide it,” he said.

“However, there are some pertinent questions that must be asked. To what end is this information going to be used? Is the state going to purchase/lease devices for our students? If the state has intentions of providing meals to the students, how are they to be distributed while maintaining social distance?

“Is the intention to provide meals to the children for the next five weeks or for the two weeks that schools would have been in session under normal circumstances?”

Mottley said this “apparent frantic approach to collect this information indicates that there was a lack of planning for this eventuality.”

He called for “clear, rational and realistic steps” to bring relief to students without compromising the health and safety of principals and other school personnel.