Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Education Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and other MPs wished students well on Tuesday on their return to the physical classroom after two years of online schooling.
Dr Rowley and other ministers took to social media to deliver messages of hope and gratitude to eager students and their parents.
Rowley said in a post on Tuesday morning, “After almost two years of experiencing the worst trauma, stress and overall deprivation in their development, our children are cautiously stepping back out into school as we knew it. I am so happy.
“The pandemic has made demands on our young ones that none of the rest of us have ever been called upon to deal with. We wish them all God’s blessings and guidance as they retrieve their development pathways. Our country’s future depends on their protection and their success.”
He implored the public to keep in mind the pandemic is still active, though he also said, “It’s a good, long-awaited day. Let us acknowledge its significance and continue working diligently and responsibly towards even better days. Our children hold our promise and they deserve all our support. Watch them go. Help them grow.”
Dr Gadsby-Dolly posted her greetings on Monday night ahead of the reopening. She said over 228,000 students at 1,649 ECCE, primary and secondary schools have returned to school, many of whom have been away for two years, since March 16, 2020.
Schools closed soon after the confirmation of the first covid19 case in Trinidad and Tobago, along with other measures, to curb the spread of the virus.
“At that time, we thought we would be out of school for maybe two weeks. We’ve been out of school for two years.
“We are very happy that all countries around the world are bringing children out to school, where they have the best chance of educational success.”
In the video address, Gadsby-Dolly pulled out her old St Augustine Girls’ school uniform as she reminisced about her secondary school days.
“It’s been some time since I have been in the classroom, but I still remember my memories of school, and some of these memories are what we want our children to build. We want them socialised, to be able to build and deal with people. That’s why all children need to get back to physical (classes) – but they must do so safely.”
MP for Toco/Sangre Grande Roger Monroe welcomed students in his constituency back to school.
“The last two years came unexpected(ly) and distorted several aspects of society. Our students missed so much of the physical school dynamic that their transition may be difficult.
“But thankfully, we’re here, and we can start to return to our lives and schooling as we once knew it.”
Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian said the past two years have been difficult for teachers and parents, but for children especially.
“We know this won’t be easy, but we also know this country has what it takes to get through this.”