Judging from the social media comments on various Facebook sites, Trinidad and Tobago is just as divided over the vaccination policy at the nation’s schools as it had been when Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley had announced that only vaccinated students would be allowed into the classroom.
Before Education Minister, Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly hosted the press conference at her office in Port of Spain yesterday the main concern amongst parents had been the discrimination and segregation of students into two categories: the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
Yesterday after Dr. Nyan Gatsby-Dolly declared as she had done in August of this year that both categories will have to coexist in the classroom there was a variety and diversity of views that were noted by PSA media.
It ranged from one person in agreement with the minister’s decision stating: “If they can send adults in the rum-shop because they are vaccinated then they can allow every child to get an education.”
Another exclaimed: “Exactly, if teachers are allowed on the premises without vaccination so should students.”
However, there were those who disagreed and voiced their opinion on the social media platform: “Allyuh too ridiculous, You just want the children in school to get COVID-19. Anyway my child will not be there.”
Along the same line of thinking another person pointed out: “This has always been the plan. They just announced it sooner than expected. The initial fear tactic was used in the hope of getting parents to vaccinate their children.”
“Hmmm after allyuh force parents to vaccinate their children now it don’t matter your vaccination status. Is better I didn’t vaccinate my sons.” A woman who claimed to have three boys said.
Amongst all those views there were also those whose main concern was neither for or against the vaccine or the vaccinated and unvaccinated mixing at the nation’s schools.
Those parents contented: “Will there be transportation for students? Where am I finding money for that if I am without a job? Where am I finding money this week for next week.”
A woman a few comments after said: “Minister did you take into account the financial status of parents, uniform sneakers? Why you didn’t say January so at least parents have a little time to organize themselves?”
In May of this year the education minister had stated that at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 to that month at least 2000 students were neither logging on to online classes or receiving a package. She feared that they might have dropped out of school and at the time had asked the assistance of the police, the ministry of social development and the Child Support Services Division to provide help to track down those students.
By June TT Unified Teachers Association(TTUTA) President Antonia Tekha-De Frietas opined that some of that 2000 students unaccounted for would return to the classroom once face to face interaction had resumed. She shared the view that some students because of circumstances beyond their control would have no choice but to stay away from school once it was online