Schools Descending into Chaos: UPE urges immediate closure

Various reports have reached the UPE that the mandatory quarantine imposed by the authorities is not being followed and students being still being sent to school. In some instances, the parents who are themselves obliged to be on mandatory quarantine have refused to make arrangements for their children to be taken back home. 

The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that it is impossible for schools to ascertain who should be on mandatory quarantine and who not. Moreover, schools cannot be made to enforce mandatory quarantine provisions when they are neither empowered nor equipped to do so. As a result, the health and safety of educators and students risks to be seriously compromised.

The UPE is further informed that efforts by schools to report cases of alleged breaches of mandatory quarantine are being frustrated by lack of immediacy and adequate attention by the relevant authorities. This is placing schools in an impossible situation to ascertain the health and safety of educators and students alike.

In view of these urgent circumstances, the UPE is urging the Education Authorities to consult with the Public Health Authorities and to consider the immediate closure of all schools. In default, the UPE is hereby giving notice that it will have no alternative but to issue directives to protect the health and safety of its members.