As schools, businesses, and government departments on Antigua continue to grapple with the COVID-19 infection rate, the situation on Barbuda is no different, and its lone secondary school has gone online to conduct classes.
Reportedly, this is due to a shortage of teachers since a number of them have been diagnosed with the virus and, therefore, are in isolation. Others have been placed in quarantine because they have had contact with an infected person.
John Mussington, the Principal of the Sir McChesney George Secondary, says that, following the Christmas holidays, face-to-face classes were held for just one week before the school moved to the Google Classroom platform.
Mussington says it was during this week that a number of teachers had to be placed in quarantine.
According to Mussington, with almost half of the staff complement out, it would have been difficult to continue with the Tier 2 learning platform – which combines face-to-face instruction with online lessons.
Mussington laments that the COVID-19 virus has taken a toll on the education system in Antigua and Barbuda.
Now, he says, the new Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible, has placed the children at a disadvantage again – only days after school reopened.
The Principal attributes the spread of the virus on Barbuda to the high volume of travel between both islands, with construction workers on the Peace Love and Happiness (PLH) project going back and forth.
He says that full face-to-face learning is expected to resume on Monday, January 24.