Closure of public schools due to COVID-19 |19 March 2020
Parents urged to collect their children’s education materials
Following the closures of state crèche, primary and secondary schools on Mahé, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is now inviting parents to collect the necessary education materials to guide the students who have been given two weeks off school.
Due to the urgent need to close the schools because of COVID-19, the ministry has had to quickly work on a contingency plan which would allow students to continue their studies at home, even during the novel coronavirus threat.
The materials and resources will be distributed at the students’ respective schools as from today (Thursday March 19) and tomorrow (Friday March 20).
Education packs for crèche up to primary 3 as well as for secondary 1 to S3 will be available for collection today while those for P4 to P6 and S4-S5 are to be doled out on Friday.
Education and Human Resource Development Minister Jeanne Simeon noted that the distribution has been spread out over the course of two days so as not to induce a large number of people coming into the schools in one go.
“We have spread it throughout these two days for us not to encounter situations where there are large groups of parents coming to the school at the same time, especially since the public health advisory presently discourages large gatherings,” Minister Simeon explained.
“We are also asking parents not to rush to school either early in the morning or in the afternoon. Do not rush, take your time and pass by at any time during the day since teachers will be present from 8am to 3pm and even during lunchtime.”
She further advised parents to practice social distancing, avoid loitering around the school compounds and to leave immediately after collection of the education packs.
The education packs are the results of an extensive two-day work between the ministry, teachers and school managements, from Monday March 16 to Tuesday March 17, after it was deemed necessary to close state schools on Mahé.
“For primary students, we have tried to provide information on the objectives that the students have to cover during this term. We are providing them with textbooks, worksheets and supplementary exercises, and various schools have their own resources to hand out as well,” principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education, Dr Odile De Commarmond, specified.
“Parents may also seek additional resources to guide their children,” she added.
As for secondary schools, education packs for different levels have been prepared along with USB drives stocked with the required videos and lessons.
Downloadable resources are also expected to be available on the ministry’s website.
Meanwhile, students at the School of Advanced Level Studies (Sals), which has also closed for 14 days, are in active communication with their lecturers in order to stay on top of their studies and coursework.
In the spirit of the ministry’s theme of ‘Education: A Shared Responsibility’, Minister Simeon also asked parents to do their part in collecting the education packs and following up on their children’s studies.
“We want parents to embrace this opportunity. The ministry has done its part to prepare these materials and resources so we want parents to also do theirs; pick up the resources and ensure that your child goes over them,” Minister Simeon stated.
PS De Commarmond confirmed that the ministry will not hold exams in primary and secondary schools this term and hence students will be evaluated through the continuous assessments.
In regards to the state school on Praslin and La Digue which were told to remain open due to their perceived low risk, the ministry noted that it is reconsidering its position on the matter.