Secondary Schools to re-open based on vaccination rollout
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Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, watches on as 12-year-old Danah Shiwgobin received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine when vaccination began at the St. Stanislaus College (Delano Williams photo)
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, watches on as 12-year-old Danah Shiwgobin received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine when vaccination began at the St. Stanislaus College (Delano Williams photo)

–primary, nursery schools to be re-opened Monday

THOUGH public schools are scheduled to re-open to physical learning from Monday, secondary schools will not be re-opening on that date and would instead be re-opened gradually, based on the national vaccination programme for adolescents ongoing across Guyana.

Each secondary school will be informed of their respective re-opening dates as students become fully vaccinated.

“For an adolescent to be deemed fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine they must receive two doses 21-28 days apart, with an additional seven to 14 days after the second dose to be fully protected.

“This would mean that the different secondary schools will return to face-to-face instruction on different dates,” the Ministry of Education said in a statement issued on Friday.

The ministry further related: “Where schools are not re-opening for face-to-face instruction, they will be engaged online or otherwise. Parents are encouraged to visit the Ministry of Education’s website to see the re-opening plan for the respective schools.”

Primary and nursery schools will be reopened on Monday under different, individualised re-opening plans. The Ministry of Education has posted the plan for respective schools on its website.

Over 6,000 students between the ages of 12 and 17 years have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, since vaccination for adolescents began locally on 26 August.

Guyana received a delivery of 146,250 Pfizer vaccine doses on August 24, as part of a donation from the United States of America. The vaccine, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is approved for use among children from 12 years old.

The Ministry of Health, since receiving the Pfizer vaccine, has rolled out an aggressive vaccination campaign across the country to get as many students as possible inoculated before returning to face-to-face learning at public schools, which have been closed since March, 2020, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The advice received from the Ministry of Health is that it is better to allow students to be vaccinated and be fully inoculated before returning to the school’s physical environment,” the Ministry of Education states.

Further, the ministry said: “We encourage as many parents as possible to give consent for their children, aged 12 to 17 years, to receive the vaccine, which will serve to protect them from the effects of COVID-19. We also encourage our parents and teachers, who have not yet been vaccinated, to get vaccinated so that we can all protect each other.”

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