Open Schools TT wants full return of classes

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this November file photo Caroline Gomez during takes part in a protest by Open Schools TT at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. –

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Open Schools TT is encouraging the government to learn from past mistakes and draft a curriculum suitable for a full school reopening.

In a media release on Friday, the group argued that it was time for in-person classes to resume at all levels and age groups, noting the return of public servants to work.

They contended that preventing students from attending physical classes was damaging to their health, describing alternative measures as “disruptive” and counterproductive to their development.

“It’s critical that the country recognizes the losses that have occurred in the last two years and makes an attempt to not only rectify the situation but to actively provide support for those in need.

“Consistent declines in physical health, mental health, executive functioning and social development have been reported among children in T&T – not to mention the economic losses that will continue to be seen in the years to come.

“There is no undoing the damage but we can at least ensure that we learn from these mistakes.

“Instead of continuing with outdated rotational systems and disruptive limitations, let us move forward and allow our children to return to normal – to an education that is wholesome and proactive, to an education that is their right.”

In addition to changes in the curriculum and lesson plans, the group also called on stakeholders to show flexibility and adapt to changes in order to facilitate students.

The group added that sufficient funds should be made available to support mental health services for teachers and students, noting the reintroduction to an in person environment could be difficult.

They also called on administrators to be encouraged by reductions in covid19 cases and be guided by the figures rather than make decisions out of fear.