Smooth re-opening for most schools |01 June 2021
Most of the pupils and students from crèche, primary, secondary, tertiary and post-secondary schools yesterday headed back to school for the second term. While most of the private schools had their online schooling, some public schools were handing over homeworks through the parents when the schools were closed.
Most of the students are starting the second term whereas some from private schools are having their last term for the year.
To know more on how the day went, our team visited a few schools to talk to the head teachers. In all it was a successful re-opening.
The head teacher of the Mont Fleuri secondary, Marc Arissol, noted that the resumption of school went smoothly. “We welcomed the S1, S4 and S5 students and in the morning we had two separate assemblies. We already had the students of S4 and S5 (academic) and this morning we met with the TVET (vocational) students explaining the housekeeping issues. We are giving the students one week grace period to fix their attire as some of them have to fix their uniforms. All our teachers are back but our school has 8 vacancies including five teaching and three non-teaching positions. We are also having some issues with getting the resources and the Ministry of Education reassured us of its help.”
Monira Majha, the chairperson of the Parents Teachers Association at Mont Fleuri secondary school said she is satisfied with how the school started. “This morning all students came in and sanitised their hands before going directly to wait for their teachers in front of their class. We are trying our best to improve our school to adapt to the new normal. There is anxiety but we are trying our best.”
Plaisance primary school
Therèse Athanase, head teacher of Plaisance primary school, was happy with how all went smoothly for the re-opening. “Team work made it possible. We adopted the same modality as for the first term and students are used to that routine. In the morning, when they entered the school vicinity, the students went directly for their screening and to their class. Each class has been divided in two. Our school accommodates usually 1055 students and yesterday 700 students started school from crèche, P2, P4 and P6.”
Ms Athanase confirmed that her school is offering after school service and will take children from crèche to P6. “We have enough childminders to take care of the children and the classes have been identified. Before and after each session, the class will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. There is great demand from our parents.”
Trotters Stop pre- and primary school
The Trotters Stop pre- and primary school started school at full capacity also and the morning went on smoothly.
“For us this is the third term as we follow the UK curriculum. It is wonderful to start welcoming the children back to school. This morning the students were so excited and in a hurry to meet their friends that they just wanted to rush in inside,” stated the founder of the school Poonam Verma.
Mrs Verma noted that the return to school process started with their nursery during the second week of May. “Now we are delighted to see our R1 to P6 children returning. The playgrounds are once again alive with the sounds of children laughing and chattering. From coping with school closure and the absence of dear friends to migrating into the world of online school, the children have without exception, embraced every stage with an impressive attitude. As this is a pandemic, we understand it is not possible to eliminate all risks, however we will take every possible precaution and continuously review our practices. I am in no doubt that the experiences of this last year will have changed our children. It’s our job to make sure it changes them for the better. All of us are hoping that there will be no more national lockdowns,” expressed Mrs Verma.
Mrs Verma noted that the school is following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and the school is thoroughly cleaned regularly. Yesterday, in all classes, there were three to four absences. Trotters Stop pre- and primary school has also resumed its after school service.
Ecole Française des Seychelles
Quand nous sommes arrivés dans l’enceinte de l’Ecole Française des Seychelles, déjà deux classes étaient dans leur moment de pause et les étudiants étaient tous assis confortablement en respectant la distance.
« Nous avons échelonné toutes les recréations et le seul moment qu’ils enlèvent leurs masques c’est le moment du gouter et les récréations. Le matin tout s’est déroulé très bien et nos membres du personnel accueillait les enfants en prenant leur température. Avant nous avions un zone pour les repas et maintenant nous en avons quatre. Pour nous, à l’école tout se déroule normalement et nous entamons nos cinq dernières semaines », a dit le directeur de l’EFS, Jean-Pierre Cortesi.
Il a aussi ajouté que « c’est tous ensemble, collectivement, en observant les mesures sanitaires à la maison, dans l’espace public, à l’école que nous allons pouvoir fonctionner ainsi jusqu’à la fin des classes et pouvoir mettre en œuvre les examens. J’en appelle donc à l’esprit citoyen de chacun ; parents, professeurs, assistantes maternelles ou d’éducation, personnels de service ou administratif et bien sûr tous nos élèves à respecter et faire respecter scrupuleusement les consignes de sécurité. »
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Independent School currently has more than 1000 students and has resumed at full capacity. We met the director, Andy Esparon, and he noted that only one teacher and a few were absent for the first day. “It is not the first time that the students come back to school in a situation like this. Students and parents knew what to expect and they came in and went through the routine. Generally the children are happy to be here. This time we have increased the safety measures and the wearing of masks is mandatory for P3 students. We have strict sitting plan just to make it easy for contact tracing. We also encourage the parents to monitor their children and if they have been in contact with someone positive, they should not be sent to school. We are all taking the necessary precautions and I personally feel that schools should not go for another lockdown.”
Interhearts Montessori pre-primary school
Same scenario at the Interhearts Montessori pre-primary school! The owner, Nadine Andre, noted that this morning she welcomed the eldest of her school (3-4 yrs) and they were all so excited to meet their friends. “Our school is back to normal operation and we resume school from 7.30am to 4.30pm. When we had our assembly this morning, the children were getting excited to celebrate Children’s Day on June 1 (today). School is important for the development of children and we hope to continue keep them in a safe environment,” said Ms Andre.
Photos by Louis Toussaint/Nadine Andre