ABUT on board with changes

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(Pointe Xpress)

The Antigua And Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT) has given its support to the government’s decision to make changes to the regulations which apply to students in the classrooms and persons under the age of eighteen traveling alone.

ABUT General Secretary, Annetta Alexander-Hunte, said the union had some concerns which they were able to raise at a marathon meeting with Ministry of Education officials on Monday.

“We are in support of the move to adjust the requirements for students to be able to sit less than the six feet apart as mandated by the State of Emergency declaration.

We are happy that the proposed changes will give principals the flexibility to adjust as they see fit. It cannot be a ‘one size fit all’,” she declared.

The proposed changes will allow schools to adjust the seating from the originally proposed six feet apart to not less than three feet apart based on their school plants.

Director of Education, Clare Browne, said it was explained to the union that the ministry is following the guidelines set out by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

Last week, the government announced its intention to make the adjustment following recommendations from educators pleas from private schools operators who indicated that the distancing requirements in the previous regulations could have forced them to close their institutions.

The Parliament will convene tomorrow to consider a number of bills that were not debated at its last sitting.

The change to the regulations that will enable schools to function smoothly when they reopen their doors on 7th September is on the agenda for debate.