With the reopening of schools around the corner, Malta’s education institutions are gearing up to adapt to teaching during a pandemic. Mikiel Anton Vassalli College has been in touch with other main stakeholders who provide visual and performing arts education and services to formulate protocols together with the Health Authorities.
These protocols are particularly applicable to the Specialized Schools for Art, Music, Drama and Dance within the Mikiel Anton Vassalli College for the scholastic year 2020/21. Each respective school should adapt these guidelines according to the specific setup of the school itself and in line with other guidelines as issued from time to time by the Public Health authorities.
“One can understand that the specialized schools within the Mikiel Anton Vassalli College cannot be put in the same basket as compulsory schools without consideration for the fact that COVID-19 safety measures are much easier to maintain in our studios/workshops and performance rooms, where the duration of the lessons are much shorter, with no breaks and no canteens. However, the guidelines and principles are to be followed,” said the Head of College Network Victor Galea.
“The visual and performing arts education gives students that fulfilment needed in life where they can express their feelings, emotions and thinking through creative means, be it music, art, drama, or dance. Now more than ever before” concluded Mr Galea.
The protocols agreed upon include the following:
- The temperature of all students and staff is to be taken on entry. Students are to go directly to class on arrival
- Staff are to wear masks or visors at all times. Children over 11 are only exempted during high-level energy activities, while those aged 3-11 are to wear masks when outside the classrooms
- Students are to remain 1.5m apart in the classroom; elsewhere, a 2m distance is to be kept at all times. But for certain activities which may present additional risks – such as singing – a distance 2.5m is recommended
- Online teaching is encouraged where possible
- Parents and guardians will not be allowed on the premises, and are encouraged to observe social distancing outside
- Students should sanitise their hands before and after class, and bring their own sanitiser
- Communication between parents/guardians and staff should only be done online
The protocols also include specific measures catering for the different performing arts, namely drama, music, dance and fine arts.