- Schools with a large number of students in GCE A/L, O/L & primary sections will resume classes on a staggered basis & in small groups
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
When schools reopen, a comprehensive and rigid mechanism will be in place to ensure the safety of 4.5 million students and some 300,000 teachers, Education Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said yesterday.
He said not a single rupee would be collected from students or parents for this national programme as the government had already allocated an estimated Rs.680 million to see students and teachers would not act as COVID-19 carriers or become victims of the viral infection.
“After non-academic staff disinfects the premises, a responsible health official must give the green light to reopen the school. The schools with a large number of students in GCE A/L, O/L and primary sections will resume classes on a staggered basis and in small groups. Such institutions will be provided with handheld thermal imagers, facilities to keep hands clean and an infirmary or sickroom. Schools with less than 200 students will be granted Rs.30,000 to make their own arrangements to ensure the safety of students as well as teachers,” he said.
A crucial meeting will be held today with the participation of officers attached to the Education Ministry, healthcare institutions, security authorities and relevant stakeholders to take a final decision on the date to reopen schools.
“Earlier, the ministry declared mid-year school holidays on March 13. However, when it comes to covering the syllabus, the number of study hours or schooling days will be extended,” he said.