Dr. Godwin Friday, Leader of opposition the New Democratic Party (NDP) has asserted that schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) should remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.
Schools across SVG closed one week earlier than the scheduled Easter break due to growing concerns of global pandemic COVID-19. Schools would have reassembled on Tuesday (Apr. 14) to begin the third and final term of the school year. Instead, the closure has been extended for an additional two weeks. Minister of Education, Hon. St. Clair “Jimmy” Prince recently announced this, adding that the decision to reopen schools will be assessed at the end of the two week period.
Friday, speaking on the #WakeUpCall with Tha Fugitive and Christal on Wednesday (Apr. 15) argued that the government should not reopen schools during this pandemic, which has caused over 130,00 deaths worldwide.
“I don’t see how they can reopen school quite frankly, during these conditions and for the rest of the school year, that’s just my view.”
The Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines also added that the water shortages that the nation is currently faced with, is another reason why schools should not be re-opened.
“I think this is really critical, we can’t reopen schools here with water shortages.”
Friday, however established that classes should still be held, suggesting that teaching forums can be created online.
“The classroom has to be virtual now, it can’t be a fixed location for sometime,” he said.
Responding to a question about, how students who do not live in a home with an internet connection would access these virtual sessions, Friday said, “internet now has to be considered a human right.”
“We need to ramp up learning how to teach remotely here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this is what is happening elsewhere,” Friday concluded.