Reopening of schools – Guidelines set requirement for fully vaxxed students in class

Dont't count on herd immunity to prevent further large-scale outbreaks in Fiji, says Dialogue Fiji executive director Nilesh Lal. Picture: FILE

While Education Minister Premila Kumar says there is no “no jab, no school” policy, the Safe School Reopening Guidelines require anyone above 15 years to be fully vaccinated before entering a school premises.

And secondary schools have been told to ensure only fully vaxxed children were allowed in when Year 12 and Year 13 students return to classes from November 1.

The guidelines listed individuals who could and could not enter a school compound, but fell short of saying if the directive denied a student the right to study if he or she was not fully vaccinated.

“Vaccination cards for 15 years and above are to be checked, and entry is only allowed on the basis of being fully vaccinated,” the guidelines read. Mrs Kumar had said on October 7 there was “no such thing as no jab, no school”.

“Now, even if children are not vaccinated, they will still go to school,” she had said.

“There is no such thing as no jab, no school. “Children will go to school even if they are not vaccinated.”

The guidelines also stated members of non-governmental organisations, visitors and tourists were not allowed to enter school premises.

Only parents, guardians, repair personnel and delivery personnel would be allowed to enter the school compound.

“Everyone including students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians, visitors and volunteer workers entering the school premises must be fully vaccinated, wear masks, have their temperature checked by the school and have CareFiji app installed and Bluetooth turned on.”

Questions sent to Education Ministry permanent secretary Dr Angeela Jokhan yesterday seeking clarification on the issue remain unanswered.

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