Students and staff alike will quickly have to get used to a plethora of new health protocols as schools start reopening – and rule-breaking won’t be tolerated.
Frank Fabri, the Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, was asked about this possibility on today’s edition of Lovin Daily and his response was clear.
“It’s very important that everybody, and when I say everybody I mean everybody, abides by the rules. If someone doesn’t abide by the rules, there will be disciplinary action.”
Good morning Malta and Gozo – here's everything you need to know about the latest news and updates from the island and an interview with the Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, Frank Fabri.
Posted by Lovin Malta on Monday, September 28, 2020
“We must all protect our school communities and we’re taking it very seriously. In order to keep schools open, we need to follow every single measure.”
Fabri described the measures adopted by schools ahead of the upcoming scholastic year as the most complex operation in the history of Malta’s education sector.
“This is a first. We had to bring everything from services and curricula to logistics together to implement these measures.”
He also urged parents to comply with these measures, such as by not sending their children to school if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and by picking the up from school immediately if they are asked to do so.
“We must support schools in order for them to proceed with their activity,” he said.
Some independent schools started opening today, while state schools will start gradually opening as of 7th October. All state schools have been deemed compliant with the health authorities’ guidelines.
“This is big news for us and reassures us that all the necessary measures were taken in all our primary, middle and secondary schools,” Fabri said.
Teachers and students will have to adjust to a completely new environment, with students restricted to contact with those placed in their same ‘bubble’.
Students older than 11, as well as all staff, must wear masks throughout the day, while students younger than 11 will be allowed to keep their masks off in the classroom but will have to wear them elsewhere.
Parents can opt to keep their children at home, in which case they will follow the same curriculum online through a series of pre-recorded lessons.
Despite the effort taken by schools to adjust to the ‘new normal’, a high degree of uncertainty looms over the upcoming scholastic year, particularly over the chaos that could erupt if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.
If a single person tests positive, then everyone they came into contact with at school, as well as all the household members, will have to go into quarantine for two weeks.