The Teachers Union says that it expects that the government would employ trained persons to check the temperature of students upon arrival at school.
Daily temperature check is among the protocols that the Ministry of Education has elaborated for when school reopens for all students amidst the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 31.
“Our teachers are not health professionals. That’s not part of teaching. That’s not part of the nature of teaching,” Robinson said.
He, however, said that some teachers might think they have “a moral obligation” to monitor students’ temperature.
“If you want to volunteer to go and check temperature, then that’s up to you. But listen to the voice of the union,” he said.
“It is a responsibility of the Ministry of Education to ensure that they have trained personnel at the entrance of the school to check temperatures and you must keep records because any event that a teacher or student show up with signs of COVID then you have your record to do your contact tracing.”
Robinson said that during the stakeholder engagements, he had listened to the views expressed by the drivers and conductor of school buses, as well as private buses contracted to transport students.
“Who really is responsible to monitor the people coming into your buses?” he said, adding that the union is calling for the proper sanitisation of all vehicles used to transport teachers and students to school.
“We would like conductors to have hand sanitisers there with sanitising of hands when you enter the buses,” Robinson said.
“And also, if it is possible, it would be ideal if your temperature could be checked before you board the buses,” he said.
The union leader said it makes no sense that an ill student would travel for miles on a bus then arrives at school where a check would reveal signs of COVID-19.
He said that in such a situation, the principal would contact the Ministry of Health, the child or the teacher must be isolated and the rest of the school must evacuate.
“So it means that everybody would have to go and quarantine because you have to check and trace to know which bus this child might have been transported on. It may be more than one bus. Who are the persons the child or the teacher would have been in contact with? So all that has to be done.”
Robinson said his union is happy that the Ministry of Education has accepted that it is responsible for providing face masks for teachers.
“And we’re very happy that the ministry said yes; they have a large stock and they expect to get more,” Robinson said.
He also said schools must be fogged.
“The authorities said that has started and let’s hope they are able to reach into remote areas: the Grenadines, North Windward, North Leeward, etc.; not only in certain areas.
“Apart from the fogging, proper cleaning must be done. Because, you, see it is part of our collective agreement where it says schools must be cleaned or sanitised — proper janitorial services. That’s what the collective agreement said. And that must be done. It’s the responsibility of the authorities to do so,” Robinson said.