Ministry mulls return to school sports in second term

Minister of Education, Sports and Creative Arts, Daryll Matthew
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By Neto Baptiste

A phased return to school sports could commence in January or February next year.

This was revealed by Minister of Education, Sports and Creative Arts, Daryll Matthew, who said that although the government has approved a return to classroom instruction, sports within the schools will be delayed until after the start of the second term.

“The thinking is, we will start to put a mechanism in place to recommence schools sports starting in the second term [2022] and that is determined by the medical situation at the time and so the thinking is that we would recommence schools sports. We will be having discussions within the department of sports with education to see what disciplines can take place and under what circumstances, but we must always remember that we will be guided by the science and the epidemiological situation at that point in time,” he said.

Matthew reminded that although some students may have been vaccinated prior to the reintroduction of face to face learning, there are others who are not yet eligible to receive the jab.

“We have students in our education system who cannot be vaccinated because children who are under 12 years old play sports as well and so I have never liked nor am I entirely happy with a scenario where our children get segmented along lines of vaccination and particularly because it is not their decision to make, it is the parents’ decision to make; so we in this ministry must do everything we can to make sure no child is disenfranchised,” he said.

There has been no schools’ competition since March last year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Sports at the national level has suffered significantly with only some disciplines getting the nod of the health authorities to host events, albeit under strict Covid-19 guidelines.

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