Karl Samuda, Minister with responsibility for Education, has said he is surprised by comments from the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) that some teachers are not happy about returning to the classroom on June 8 to prepare students for CXC exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
JTA President Owen Speid last weekend told Radio Jamaica News that the teachers are worried as some have underlying medical conditions.
Mr. Speid said the teachers also have children who are underage and will be without supervision.
But in an interview with Radio Jamaica News, Mr. Samuda said the concerns were not raised by the JTA in meetings with ministry officials last week.
"We met as recently as Wednesday with the JTA and its leadership and at no time during that meeting was that matter ever raised. In fact, I can't recall it being part of any consideration in respect of the holding of the CXC examinations. For the last several months, it has never been a consideration the question of being afraid because we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure that there is safety in the class," he said.
Mr. Samuda has sought to assure the teachers that measures are being put in place to protect them and their students.
"They can't expect any less. The people who are guiding the process are highly trained and qualified persons and all teachers, whether it be primary or secondary, are employees of the government. So to suggest anything other than absolute protection and all the necessary precautions is ludicrous," he declared.