Ricardo Brooks reports.

Opposition Spokesperson on Education, Angela Brown Burke, is calling on the government to lay out a clear road map on what factors will guide the decision to resume face-to-face learning for primary school children.

There is currently no vaccine available for children below the age of 12 years old.

Mrs. Brown Burke says the government has been pretending that online learning has been a suitable alternative for in-person learning.

She says the time has come to prioritize face-to-face learning.

The Opposition Spokesperson on Education says a clear policy setting out the conditions which will facilitate a return to physical school is needed.

The Education Spokesperson says the government must abandon the one size fits all approach, which she says has so far guided the government’s policy towards the education sector during pandemic.

The government has said it will allow students to return to face-to-face classes once a critical mass of the individual school population has been vaccinated.

But Mrs. Brown Burke is questioning the wisdom behind keeping primary-aged children out of school.

She says targeted approaches can allow them to return safely to school, as is the case in other parts of the world.

There is no vaccine available for use for children below the age of 12 years old. Studies also show that children have a decreased risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Mrs. Brown Burke says the Education Ministry also needs to establish partnerships to facilitate safe transportation of students who can return to face-to-face engagement.

She says students in rural areas are at lower risk based on the distance of some schools.