The Ministry of Education is continuing talks today and tomorrow with stakeholders over Draft COVID guidelines for the physical reopening of schools in September.
Over the weekend, a 56-page-long draft document was leaked to social media.
It contains a suggested rotational attendance protocol; recess and lunch breaks guidelines; mask-wearing specifications; the actions to be taken in the event of COVID-19 exposure at a school; and how special requests for online school continuation should be facilitated.
The document explains that the rotational attendance system would see schools would be required to create two groups – A and B – in each class, with each group attending school on alternate days.
Group A will start the school’s timetable for physical classes while group B will access this via prearranged planning of online material at home and vice versa.
Under the rotational system, stated each class must be assigned a designated space or room at the school which must not be shared with any other class.
The proposed plan has been put to various education stakeholders but has not yet been released to the public.
School assemblies would not be allowed with the use of public address systems instead suggested as an alternative.
Students are also advised to sit and consume their meals at their respective desks with breaks and lunch times staggered.
All children above the age of eight years old will also be mandated to wear masks while on the school compound.
Parents can request that their child attends school virtually only but must have a justifiable reason for the request; a written confirmation of proper online school-home supervision; confirmation of connectivity and device access; proof that the student has successfully adapted to the online teaching environment in the last academic year; a 75 per cent attendance in the last academic year and proof of no incident of online indiscipline.
If any COVID positive case is discovered, the school with the positive case will be closed immediately for at least 3 days and arrangements for sanitisation and public health clearance must be made before reopening.