New Education Minister to consider safe reopening of schools

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Priya Manickchand

Newly appointed Minister of Education Priya Manickchand says among her top priority would be to consider the safe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to balance children’s right to be educated with our duty to make sure we protect the people we’ve sworn to serve,” Manickchand told media operatives today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Manickchand had served as Minister of Education under the previous Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Administration before it lost power in 2015.

She was earlier today appointed by President Dr Irfaan Ali to serve as the country’s Education Minister.

Manickchand explained that she will examine best practices around the world regarding the reopening of schools amid the pandemic to determine what solution would be best for Guyana.

“If we open schools, how do we go that safely or if we keep the kids home, how do we continue to engage them meaningfully,” she explained.

Minister Manickchand noted that the task is not going to be easy but she is committed to working hard to ensure children’s education is not in jeopardy.

Schools have been closed in Guyana since March due to the pandemic. However, schools have only briefly opened to facilitate key exams for primary and secondary pupils.