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Minister asks for cooperation from one and all as schools gear up to re-start |11 March 2021

The important process to re-start school, especially the in-person teaching, is full of challenges and right now we are seeking the co-operation of everyone, since we are doing it in a very extraordinary way, right in the middle of pandemic.

Minister for Education Dr Justin Valentin made the point yesterday at a press conference to officially launch the in-person teaching in primary and secondary school for the 2021 academic year.

He noted that compared to last year’s re-opening following the partial lock-down, the ministry is now more experienced on the particular and that the knowledge acquired will be a boost in this year’s re-launch of in-person teaching.

Minister Valentin explained that it is crucial for parents to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the school system and to rather engage in dialogue with the schools, bringing in positive contributions and also to adopt a culture of discussing and together look for solutions.

He also urged all students to co-operate with their schools as everyone working within the system has a common goal which is to help and elevate their aspirations and realise their dreams.

Dr Valentin added that they acknowledge that it is a difficult time for everyone, but with the help of the whole community, including parents, teachers and students, the education system will emerge victorious.

Commenting about the April school holidays, Dr Valentin said it is very important to include it since from January 18 when the school year was officially launched, many teachers have been fully engaged in the process, precisely in preparing lessons for online sessions and other medium.

A process which he said is new and very tiring.

He added that the holidays will also be the opportunity to assess the performances.

As for the S5 students who are supposed to sit for their International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) at the end of the year, Dr Valentin said it will depend on the readiness of the students and that until around the month of June, they will not be in a position to comment on the matter.

He noted that if according to the ministry’s assessment they see that the students are not ready, they will not take the risk and pay for failed results, but will rather wait for the next examination period.

Dr Valentin equally encouraged all the schools to adopt an innovative approach through autonomy creativity and to take over the control of teaching with their entire competency, while avoiding total dependence on the ministry.

To conclude, he noted that the re-opening process will take account the wellbeing of all those involved, and that the ministry will study and monitor the process and adjust accordingly when, or if needed to.


Roland Duval

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