3314565

Another case of COVID-19 has been reported at a school, this time at the Rio Claro West Secondary.

This is the 13th school where COVID-19 infections have been recorded.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, head of The Movement for Concerned Parents Clarence Mendoza expressed concern about rising COVID cases at the nation’s schools.

He said so far they had reports of infections in 13 schools. However, Mendoza said this term was almost at a close and he did not think disbanding face-to-face examinations were warranted at this time.

“I believe there is a need for more supervision in the classroom and principals must ensure that all COVID-19 protocols are met,” Mendoza said.

Meanwhile, communications manager of the Presbyterian Church of T&T, Michael Cooper-Ochiengh, also expressed concern about the spike in COVID-19 infections.

Responding to concerns from parents that face-to-face examinations should not be held this week, he said 90 per cent of students attending their five secondary schools were vaccinated.

Cooper-Ochiengh said the PCTT and its Board of Education were grateful for students’ cooperation and resilience during these turbulent pandemic times.

“We are quite aware that many schools are facing the challenge of ensuring that students who are back at school are adequately managed and supervised in accordance with present COVID protocols,” Cooper-Ochiengh said.

He added, “We acknowledge the concerns raised by parents about the safety of their children and as such, all our schools continue to ensure that all Ministry of Health and Public Health Regulations and Guidelines are followed and even exceeded.”

He noted that various systems of spaced out rotation and staggered lunch breaks were in place to ensure all COVID protocols are adhered to.

“The five Presbyterian secondary schools have an average vaccination rate above 90 per cent and the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago, together with its Board of Education, continue to do our part in educating, raising awareness and encouraging vaccination.

“While the population continues to deal with the negative effects of the pandemic, the loss of learning among our student population continues to grow with the long-term effect seemingly catastrophic,” he said.