Maltese Church schools will go online tomorrow and Friday and could continue teaching virtually until Wednesday if the trend in daily COVID-19 cases remains high.
“The Secretariat for Catholic Education (SfCE) in consultation with the Church Schools Association (CSA) has taken note of the sharp increase of positive COVID-19 cases reported by Public Health Authorities, reaching a significant peak, today 6th January,” the statement reads.
“It is expected that this figure remains high for the coming few days. In view of this, on Thursday 7th January and Friday 8th January Church Schools will be teaching online.”
“This will allow schools to render the educational service, safeguarding the health and safety of students, staff members and their families.”
“This measure will be extended till Wednesday 13th January if the trend in reported positive cases remains high till Sunday 10th January. Parents will be informed through their respective schools.”
“The Secretariat reminds that health comes first and that this precautionary measure will not only help contain the increase in cases, but avoid more families being required to be sent in mandatory quarantine. The cooperation of all involved is greatly appreciated.”
Plans for schools to reopen tomorrow after the Christmas holidays have been thrown into doubt following a spike in COVID-19 cases, with 224 new cases confirmed today, a record daily rise since the start of the pandemic.
The Malta Union of Teachers warned it could issue directives if schools reopen tomorrow, stating it has been informed that the health authorities have advised the Education Ministry to keep them closed.
The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) called for schools to reopen in a gradually to mitigate any possible virus outbreaks.
Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci confirmed today that health authorities have informed the educational authorities about a rise in COVID-19 cases among children but didn’t say schools should close down.
Instead, she urged parents not to send their children to school if they’re displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Shadow Education Minister Clyde Puli urged the Education Ministry not to “play around” with the health of children and teachers.
“The MUT’s declaration that the government has ignored health advice is concerning in light of today’s record number of cases, the way households mixed with each other over the Christmas holidays, the confirmation that vulnerable people won’t all be vaccinated before May, the statements by unions that the administration of vaccines is too slow, and the new COVID-19 variant.”