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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Covid 19 In Schools: A Lack of Communication

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This is what is being deplored by many organizations in the education sector in the face of the Covid-19 situation, especially the inaction, the lack of communication and this way of taking decisions unilaterally by the duo of ministries of Health and Education. The announcement of school closures rarely comes from the official switch.

Covid and low fill rate

On Thursday, July 15, it was Eden College (Girls) in Rose Hill who had to interrupt its face-to-face classes. One grade 9 student tested positive as well as suspected cases on non-teaching staff.

This Friday, July 16, there have been no schools closed for disinfection, but the classrooms are lesser and lesser filled. Faced to the panic that is gaining ground daily, many parents have decided to make their own justice by no longer sending their children to schools and colleges. On the other hand, many students waiting for the results of the School Certificate finds it useless to go to class which justifies this self-extension of their holidays: Given that the date of the results is not yet known, they do not know exactly what topics they will do in the next year, they have not yet bought books, so the classes are done orally and some take pictures of the relevant pages. Teachers are also destabilized in their programmes.

Status Quo

This demonstration of unilateralism by the ministries of education and the ministry of health concerning the fate of students and staff in schools compels us to await a redeeming decision,” says Bohjeparsad Jhugdamby, president of the Union of Private Secondary Education Employees – UPSEE. He reveals that he is in a “turmoil” between the grievances registered at the UPSEE and this offloads the burden on the other which translates into “this does not concern this ministry” that he is served at each of his attempts. “If I contact the Ministry of Health, I am referred to the Ministry of Education and if I start talking about the problem of teaching and non-teaching staff, this is no longer a matter for the Ministry of Education and I am asked to contact the Ministry of Labour. At the end of the day, I find myself back to square one. I can’t count on rhe director of the PSEA, Luchoomun, I prefer not talk about the other unions and federations and trade unions who are hiding or who prefer, like myself recently, to wait for the ministry to give a real concern,” regrets the president of UPSEE.

A New Normal?

Nevertheless, UPSEE remains hopeful of a meeting with Minister Lela Devi Dookun Luchoomun, the Ministry of Health, a Senior Executive at the PMO, the PSEA and the Unions, Federation and Unions engaged in the field of education, the PTA, to understand the state’s decision to continue with the school face-to-face or “the temporary closure of schools, the return of the school year, how to move into e-learning more effectively, pedagogy, among other upsetting topics. Nor is there any attempt to take a firm and official decision by the Minister of Education. Because now, all we can understand is that this is ultimately the new art and the way of doing things that we are entering a unilateralist era, far from any democratic idea. A New Normal?” concludes the president of UPSEE.

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