The government of Maldives has just announced that schools in the country are set to reopen on July 1 under phases from grades 1.
Nearly three months have passed since the country closed schools due to fears of COVID-19.
Speaking in a presser tonight, Education Minister Aishath Ali said that schools are set to reopen and studies are to be resumed on July 1. The Minister said that schools will be reopened under three phases. The Ministry has now forwarded guidelines to schools across the country for safety measures to be taken at schools.
The Minister also added that hand washing facilities are to be arranged at all schools. The temperature of students will also be tested when they enter schools and students are to wear masks when entering schools.
Education Ministry said that in islands where a lockdown existed, schools will be conducted in the current manner of teleclass and google classrooms. For islands under monitoring mechanisms, studies would be commenced for Key Stage four and five. Islands free of COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen schools with students attending classes physically.
Schools will be open for only four days. The fifth day would be designated for teachers to prepare. Students will be in school for just four hours. Each class will be held for 45 minutes.
The biggest focus would be on the safety of students after which education will be the priority.
“Almost three months have passed. They (Students) have been deprived from many things. In truth, schools are not only a place for children to come and study. Many things are perfected at schools, such as meeting friends and social skills. For some students, school is also the only safe place.” said the Minister.
The Ministry had been working to ensure that the education of students were not disrupted within these three months. Tele classes and google classes had been conducted for students during the three-month-long hiatus.
“The main attention is on students and employees with symptoms to not attend schools.” said the Minister.
The reopening of schools were arranged with the assistance of UNICEF. The plan has five main components. They include conducting schools safely, conducting education and studies, reaching out to vulnerable students, building resilience for the safety of students, coordinating and operating schools during this situation.
A condensed curriculum will be taught at schools. The curriculum has been changed to cover all the important sections. Schools have been informed of this and timetables are being formulated for this