Minister: Academic new year will begin in mid-2021

Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali (R) appears alongside President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (C) at the inauguration of Izzuddin School. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali, on Saturday, announced the academic new year in 2021 will begin mid-year.

Dr. Aishath Ali made the announcement in an interview to RaajjeTV on Saturday night.

Dr. Aishath Ali said the change in the academic calendar for the next year followed the decision to postpone this year’s O’ level exams to May/June next year, and was made under the advisement of the social council to avoid the shortage of space in schools and the shortage of teachers and other resources it will create.

She added that the Education Ministry was engaged in holding discussions with stakeholders regarding the possibility of making the change to the academic calendar permanent.

Any more changes to the academic calendar will be announced as soon a decision is finalized following the discussions, she said.

The Maldivian government had closed schools to prevent potential outbreak of the new coronavirus in March. While classes initially continued through virtual platforms, the tele-classes were suspended following the emergence of the community outbreak in the populous Maldivian capital Male’ City in mid-April.

Male’ has since become the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, accounting to over 1,200 of the 1,313 confirmed virus cases in Maldives.

The Maldivian government recently announced plans to ease the restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Maldives, including reopening schools.

The government has yet to announce a definitive timeline for the reopening of school, and Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali has stated that schools will not be reopened without ascertaining the health and safety of students.