With schools set to reopen at the end of the month and government guidelines still not released, an association representing parents of state school students has appealed for a gradual return to pre-COVID-19 normality.
“With over 80% of the whole population now fully vaccinated and with the easing of measures in various sectors, [we] expect that, after two disrupted school years, things start getting back to normal in the Scholastic Year 2021-2022,” the Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students (MAPSSS) said following a meeting with the education and health authorities.
MAPSSS said it understands the logic behind keeping certain COVID-19 measures, such as mask-wearing, adequate physical distancing in class and hand sanitising, in place.
However, it said the pandemic should no longer deny students of their “full educational entitlement”, which would entail a return of peripatetic lessons like art, music, PE and ethics, as well as lab work and practical VET coursework at secondary schools.
The parents’ group also endorsed a return for school outings and fieldwork, while maintaining the bubble concept, and daily practice and training for students attending the School of Performing Arts and the National Sports School.
With regards to vulnerable students, the parents’ group said these should receive adequate support on a case-by-case basis to ensure their full and safe integration into on-site schooling.
Students who didn’t attend school last year should similarly receive assistance to help them reintegrate with their classmates.
Do you agree that schools should start returning to normality?