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Aug 3, 2020

B.N.T.U. Says Many Schools Are Not Ready for August 10th Reopening!

As COVID-19 cases continue to grow, there are concerns across the country about the reopening of schools. Parents and students are preparing at home in anticipation of the new school year after being out of the classroom for four months and a half.  It’s perhaps the longest break they have had in years and now that they must face the reality that they can be exposed to COVID-19.  So, what about teachers? In the past few weeks, they have been finalizing their reopening plans, bearing in mind all the health and safety protocols for when the school year begins on August tenth. So with one week to go, are teachers ready?


Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“Not quite and especially now with the cases we saw just over the weekend, they are more terrified than ever before in terms of going back. They are concerned about the safety of their students and I have visited some schools over the last week or so and those schools are not ready any at all. Principals are trying their very best to get the required materials – one they can’t afford it and two even if they are to get for the first day or first week, the concern is how long can they sustain those supplies. And if they can’t sustain them, then what would be the purpose of having a wash stand basin if you don’t have any soap or any of those supplies. So, the concern is high and we are hoping it doesn’t get worse.  Parents are really concerned and don’t want to send their children to school and we can understand that concern because it is about safety. So, we are hoping that better heads prevail and that we will have some sort of meaningful discussions and what do we do and where do we go seeing the spike we had over the weekend.”


Elena Smith

Andrea Polanco

“Have you guys taken a survey to determine how many schools are not ready as yet?”


Senator Elena Smith

“We did a survey and asked teachers to respond regarding the readiness of their schools. And based on the survey majority have said that they are not ready but we have also asked them again to take this week before the reopening to give us an update to see where they are for this week to make a determination to see whether it is fit for students to return to the classroom.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is it city schools or schools in the rural –or is it across the country we are seeing schools not ready?”


Senator Elena Smith

“It is across, no particular area. It is across. Many of them have said to us that they have not yet gotten any supplies from their managements. Principals are left on their own to fend for themselves. Despite what you hear on the news, when you go on the ground you are getting information that is contrary to what we hear on the news regarding these schools getting supplies.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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