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Nov 12, 2021

Antigua Blocks Unvaccinated Students From Face-to-Face Classes

In regional news, the government of Antigua this week blocked unvaccinated students from attending face-to-face classes after reaching a November 10 deadline for vaccinations for those twelve and over. ABS News Ercil Charles Junior filed this report which aired today on Caribbean News In Review.


[Clip: Caribbean News in Review- November 12th, 2021]


Ercil Charles Jr., ABS News

November 11 marks the dawn of a new era across the education landscape of this country as all students eligible to take a COVID-19 vaccine must be inoculated before gaining access to the school plant. Minister for Information, the Honorable Melford Nicholas says the position is clear and now enshrined in law.


Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister for Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology

 “Government has maintained its position and we affirm that position that all eligible students must be vaccinated not only on the basis of the public health advisory, but it is now a matter of law, because the Senate would have approved the amendment to the Education Act that would have been debated in parliament earlier. “


Ercil Charles Jr.

Students who remain unvaccinated will have to access learning remotely, a balance, the minister says has had to be struck between providing optimal educational experiences to all students. And that of public health.


Hon. Melford Nicholas

“The Minister of Education and the Director of Education was very forceful, that they wanted to be fair-minded to provide education to all, as a point of law, and we did accept that, but also did indicate that there would be the compelling case for public health. We also want to ensure that all our students, at all grades at all levels, both public and private, have the best opportunity for success, and we think that the best environment for them is to be before the teachers.”


Ercil Charles Jr.

Government insists it is the parents’ legal responsibility to adhere to regulations pertaining to both education and public health.


Hon. Melford Nicholas

“So it is a matter of law, so two pieces of law, the compunction and the requirement to educate our students of which the parents are also obligated to ensure that that happens, and we must make facilities available to them to do that both in terms of the school plant and the teaching facilities. But as well there is the obligation for the parents to do what is lawful. And to be able to ensure the health of their children and the health of the environment in which they are operating.”

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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