NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 31, 2021) – – Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has issued an appeal for all teachers who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so with some urgency.
Schools across Nevis are scheduled to open on September 06 for the 2021/2022 academic year. According to Education officials, teachers and students will return to in-class lessons.
Minister Liburd thanked those teachers and support staff who made the decision to take the vaccine, a decision he said would help to protect their young charges. He was at the time addressing the virtual convocation for the opening of the new school year, held at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC) on August 30, 2021.
“I want to go ahead and thank all of the teachers and the auxiliary staff and all of the members of staff at the Ministry and at the Department who have already gone and gotten vaccinated against COVID-19. I want to thank you for making that step, and at the same time I want to encourage all of you who have not gone yet, all of you who are reluctant for whatever reason, to go and get vaccinated. We have to respect persons for their various stances and reasons.
“We all are individuals and we all have individual rights of course but we all are part of something bigger than ourselves too… For those of use who are in education, those of us who are in the classrooms with our children, I would ask you to consider the children. We have some Pfizer vaccines in the Federation now and it has been approved for persons aged 12 years and above and some of them would be children of school age, so some of our children can now be vaccinated. For those under the age of 12 they have no options for vaccination as yet so they are solely and wholly dependent on us the adults to protect them…So as important as it is to pass that knowledge unto them it is the same importance to protect their health,” he said.
The Education Minister also pointed out that teachers should be prepared for any eventuality as the COVID situation remains highly fluid. He called on them to be flexible and willing to adapt to any changes that may come throughout the year.
“We have to be prepared to work with whatever the situation is. So for now, the situation is that we are going back to physical, in-person classes, and let us hope that that is the case for the long term.
“If it is not the case for the long term let us all be prepared to work with the system, let us all have an open mind, a willingness to work with whatever the changes are.”
Mr. Liburd thanked the teachers for the dedication and perseverance displayed throughout the last academic year with school closures and remote learning. He wished the educators and support staff a successful school year.