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Krishna Samaroo escorts his daughter Shivana to the Parvati Girls Hindu College, Debe yesterday.

Parents had mixed feelings as their children returned to school yesterday for the first time since schools were closed last March to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Only students in Forms Four, Five, and Six were allowed back into schools to facilitate their School-Based Assessments and lab work.

While confident that her daughter will be safe, parent Lystra Dindial said, “I have mixed feelings about my daughter coming back to school. I think it is important for her labs for her practical work to be done she was unable to do it at home.”

Grandparent Clyde Mohammed said, “Back to the old routine, no headache. But, his parents and myself talk to him about social distancing and observing the protocol.”

Krishna Samaroo who dropped off his daughter at Parvati Girls Hindu in Debe said, “I feel a little great but then again the risk I kind of a little fussy you know, she coming to indulge with other children. You have to be very careful with them. I made sure and told her to be careful, wash her hands, keep social distancing and always be on the lookout.”

Davinand Rooonarine, a parent of a student at the Penal Secondary School, was happy that his son was back out to school but he was concerned about the coronavirus.

“Plenty times yesterday I spoke to him about it. What to do, how to carry yourself, social distancing, sanitiser is important, always have a rag with you in case you sneeze, be aware in the school of other children who sneezing. Safeguard yourself because this virus here a while and I find it is not going at all.”

However, two principals assured that everything was in place.

Yasmin Rahaman-Singh, San Fernando ASJA Girls’ principal, said they were prepared to receive the students.

“We have been preparing and we are ready to welcome our students and teachers. We do have our entry protocols, all social distancing will be observed, our sink our wash area and contact tracing as well. As our girls come in they will sign off and then go to our Assembly area. The chairs are spaced out six feet apart.”

Assuring that they will be following the directions of the Ministry of Health, she said they would be operating on a shift system.

“This morning one class will be here. When the class finishes the other class will start. So we are trying to limit as much as possible, in keeping with all the safety protocols to ensure that we really combat this COVID-19.”

Welcoming the students back to school, Dexter Mitchell, principal of Presentation College, San Fernando, said they will also be adhering to the protocols and guidelines set by the Ministry of Health. He reminded them that close contact was not permitted, no hugging and no sharing of meals or stationery.