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Malta’s COVID-19 Infection Factor Must Go Down Before We Reopen, Says School Lobby Group

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A reduction in the rate of infection is critical if there is to be any real possibility for schools to reopen this September, warned the Independent Schools’ Association.

“Any school reopening can only occur if all entities and citizens of Malta realise that there is a strong correlation between decreasing the RT factor and its transmission rate within the community,” it said in a press release. 

With school set to start next month, many are debating whether it is safe and advisable to return to a physical classroom format or to stick with online learning.

In fact, a recent survey among educators who are members of the Union of Professional Educators showed that the majority wished for schools to return to online learning in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases.

“It is only by responding to the current spike in proactive, responsible and effective ways that we will be able to enjoy the return to physical schooling,” the ISA continued.

As it stands, Malta has a total of 680 active COVID-19 cases following 55 new cases and 43 new recoveries yesterday.

While educators have suggested sticking to online education, others are lobbying for the return to physical education.

But the situation becomes more complex given the lack of government directives on the return to education and in special circumstances, where vulnerable children come into play.

“The ISA has been waiting for guidelines to be issued by the national authorities so that individual schools may plan the year ahead,” it said.

“These guidelines need to stipulate whether physical distancing is recommended in classrooms, transport considerations and composure of bubbles/clusters.”

Moreover, the ISA urged the government to publish said guidelines immediately so that a course of action can be detailed for the upcoming scholastic year.

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