Region 10 students return to school  under strict COVID-19 guidelines

As school students from Grades 10, 11 and 12 across Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) returned to their classrooms under strict COVID-19 guidelines on Monday, Acting Regional Education Officer LaShanna Anderson assured of a healthy and safe environment for all. Anderson noted that schools and their compounds, as well as dormitories across the Region, were adequately maintained for months prior to Monday’s reopening.
“Coming into September, during the first week, throughout the country we did a survey to ascertain what the needs were in keeping with COVID guidelines if we were to reopen schools safely. So, we have been working to ensure that our buildings are safe and we hadn’t much challenges…All of our facilities were visited and they were visited on more than one occasion,” Anderson said.
She noted that more than three visits were carried out per location at various schools last week while adding that meetings were also held with staff to brief them on expectations and means of operation. As it relates to school dormitories within the Region, Anderson said specific work was done to ensure the health and safety of all.
“Our dormitory facilities are of a very high standard. We have done work on the physical building early in this year and late last year. We also did a lot of retrofitting. We would have installed handwashing facilities at the entrance of each of the dormitories. We have handwashing facilities inside of the dormitories – in the dining area. We would have also installed sanitisation units in the varying rooms where the children will be occupying. We have minimised the number of children that will occupy a specific space. So, we only would be using two beds in each room,” she explained.
Anderson also noted that the spaces are equipped with signage in keeping with health and safety guidelines. She further indicated that the Department of Education last week conducted COVID-19 tests on dormitory staff and students to ensure that they are safe.
Students in Linden and other parts of the Region turned out in their numbers to the various schools, with some operating under a shift system. Upon entry into the compounds, students, who wore face masks, were observed washing their hands at handwashing sinks which were installed inside compounds and were handed care packages by teachers of the various institutions. However, in Linden, some regional officials voiced concerns over the content of some of the packages as they reportedly only contained face shields and Vita tonic. Overall, the turnout at the schools was dubbed satisfactory.