By Kadeem Joseph
Hundreds of students are possibly losing access to face-to-face learning today, with the government maintaining its strict stance that pupils 12 years and older will not be allowed in if they remain unvaccinated.
In October, parents were notified that while both vaccinated and unvaccinated students would initially be allowed back in the classroom, eligible students would have to get the jab to retain access to school premises as of November 11.
The Education Act was recently amended making the requirement for students to be vaccinated against Covid-19 a legal obligation, in a move the Cabinet noted was made “out of an abundance of caution”.
On Wednesday a missive from the Cabinet indicated that the body “agreed that achieving herd immunity within the secondary schools is a lawful objective intended to keep all students, teachers and staff safe”.
The statement from Cabinet added, “Any secondary school student who has failed to receive the Covid-19 vaccine by this date shall not enter onto the premises of their schools on Thursday November 11 2021 until vaccinated.”
Cabinet said it had examined the Education Act and recent Covid regulations adding that the law requires that children are prepared by their parents to attend schools.
“Getting their sons and daughters who are 12 years and older vaccinated, and eligible to attend secondary schools, is the responsibility of parents. If the children are not prepared, they shall not be allowed on the premises of the schools effective Thursday 11 November 2021,” the body added.
In an interview last week, Education Minister Daryll Matthew said that around 6,000 of the 8,000 eligible students have to date received at least one dose of the Pfizer jab.
Observer was unable to ascertain how many students have been jabbed since that announcement.
Matthew also noted that the Ministry of Education was mulling what can be done to reach unvaccinated students, however, the ministry is yet to announce what plans are being made, if any, for these students.