Eight students at President’s College who returned to their dorms over the weekend have tested positive for Coronavirus and have been placed in isolation.
Four of the eight students are from the Region Eight community of Kato.
The first group of students were only tested upon their arrival at the school on Friday and not before they left their homes for the live-in school facility on the East Coast of Demerara.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand told an afternoon press conference that “from the first batch four of those students tested positive and they came from a particular community. Today we received results again for the wider population of students that came from all over the country and four more are positive. Across the country, all the dorm schools, students will be tested because it makes sense to test them”.
The Minister said she would not want to stigmatize any group of students or communities since she believes if all students returning to schools all across the country were tested for COVID, there would be a number of positive cases.
When pressed as to why a system was not put in place to have the students tested before they returned to the schools with live-in facilities, the Education Minister said her Ministry was following the advice of the Ministry of Health and Medical professionals.
“The medical personnel want to know exactly where the students are after they are tested so to prevent any kind of contamination after a test, so you don’t want to test someone and not be sure where they are exactly and have them go back home where they can be reinfected”. Manickchand said.
The Education Minister said the reopening of schools today for Forms 4, 5 and 6 went on as planned with 60% of the registered 21,000 students returning to classrooms.
Minister Manickchand said while parents were given the option to keep their children at home, Education officials still intend to probe the reason why 40% of the registered students in those three levels across the country were a no show at school today.