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Education: 5 Traditional Days Of Face-To-Face Classes Per Week Starting February 2

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End of all Remote Learning. All students in pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are expected to return to school as from Wednesday 2nd February for a normal resumption of the third term. Students of certain grades will go through an assessment.

Full and not partial attendance

This is the newest decision of the High-Level Committee on Covid-19. Education Minister, Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun has announced the return of retour des 5 jours traditionnels de classes en présentiel par semaine.. In her press briefing, attended by Dr Zouberr Joomye, the Chairperson of the National Vaccination Committee COVID-19, the Minister pointed out that “this decision is based on an analysis of the current pandemic situation. We did not have the peak that the WHO had predicted for mid-January following the festive period,” thus, this full and not partial face-to-face resumption which would only affect those who will take part in the national and Cambridge examinations, namely grades 9, 9+, 11 and 13. In addition, the Minister made it clear that the counselling units and the Health and Welfare Directorate of the Ministry would pay particular attention to the emotional and social well-being of children. “Our priority remains the social and emotional well-being of children. Our aim is to work towards their holistic development. School headmasters and educational institutions are expected to draw up a plan to prepare for the reopening of schools, to ensure academic progress and to contribute to the emotional balance of everyone.” According to her, the situation is well contained and following the work underway by her technical committee, students will resume classes in the classroom so as not to continue to be penalised. She did not fail to point out that the schools had to close in November 2021 and that the distance learning mode until 31 January 2022 was to ensure continuity of learning.

Barrier measures and Testing Teams

This resumption will be a thoughtful one,” said LDDL. Barriers such as masks and physical distancing will still be mandatory, classes will automatically have less than 50 students, there will be no morning assembly but the form master will move from class to class to deliver important messages, and recess will be alternated as well as the end of classes. “In the event that a student is found to be positive for the virus, he or she will be isolated. His or her peers, who are believed to be contact cases, will be tested on the first and third day. The classroom will be closed, disinfected and reopened the next day. A COVID-19 testing area will be set up in each school. The testing will be done by a new team of 90 members, who will be deployed in schools where cases are detected,” explained the Minister.

5 Traditional Days Of Face-To-Face Classes Per Week Starting February 2

A dedicated technical committee

As for the students, they will go through an assessment exercise. The minister explained that “At the beginning of February, through this exercise, teachers will have to detect the gaps following the Online Teaching that the student will have encountered“. A technical committee of the Ministry of Education is currently working on the revision of the school calendar, the coverage of programmes and the modalities of evaluation, among others. They will make suggestions for improving the school system. The minister said she should receive a full report “by next Tuesday“. Questions about the resumption, the syllabus and the national and Cambridge exams remain many and varied and can only be answered objectively after this long-awaited report.

The majority inoculated!

Zouberr Joomye was keen to reassure that “60% of teaching and non-teaching staff have been vaccinated to date, while the vaccination rate of young people aged 15 to 17 years is 94% and that of 12-14 years 43.6%.”  As for the 5–11-year-olds, the Chairman of this vaccination committee said that “the vaccine to be administered to this age group is a Pfizer paediatric dose. It is not yet available in Mauritius. Its use in the United States and Europe has given good results”.

A welcoming initiative

This decision has already been welcomed by parents, students as well as SEDEC and the Union of Private Secondary Education Employees where Bhojeparsad Jughdumbi reports that “this is a very good initiative, this measure was necessary, the attention that students receive online is not equal to the attention in face to face and nor the control on children. The pandemic is not about to end, we will have to deal with it”.

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