Schools told: Remove hand sanitiser, wipes from booklists
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While flash drives and calculators can be included on booklists, Principals are being reminded that cleaning supplies, and items like hand sanitisers should not be listed for parents to purchase.
The reminder was issued in a memo to school principals from the Education Ministry following complaints on social media that laptops, photocopy paper and cleaning supplies are being included on booklists for the new school term.
The memo, dated July 27, advised Principals that cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, photocopy paper and electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and cameras should not be included on booklists.
Stationery and other items necessary for the delivery of specific subject areas such as supplies for Visual Arts, recorders for Music, aprons for Home Economics, and jerseys for Physical Education can be included.
Principals were further reminded that the checklist for parents, caregivers and community members as listed in the Guidelines for the Reopening of Schools should be attached along with the uniform specifications when the booklist is distributed.
The memo concluded: “Principals are required to follow these guidelines and make requisite amendments to the school’s current booklists accordingly, before issuing to parents and guardians.”
In a post on Facebook, former President of the Trindad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Lynsley Doodhai defended Principals who included these items on booklists.
He said they would not be forced to include these items on their booklists if schools were provided with adequate funding in the first place.
Doodhai acknowledged that while it is unfair to request that parents purchase these items it is only done as schools are in dire need of these items.
Many were divided on the decision to include some of the supplies listed, but the prevailing view was that parents should at least purchase personal hygiene items for their children to use while at school.
Schools are expected to reopen in September in adherence to guidelines developed by the Ministry of Health.