Watch: We need to minimize risks, Education minister says ahead of reopening of schools

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

As schools are set to reopen over the coming days and weeks, Education Minister Owen Bonnici highlighted the need to minimize the risks of having coronavirus outbreaks in schools.

Some schools are set to reopen their doors on Monday.

Students attending compulsory education in state schools will not start on Wednesday but instead will start “on different dates, according to their year group, over a period of not more than one week starting from the October 7”.

All students are set to be back in school by 14 October according to the new dates announced by the education authorities.

The previous scholastic year was interrupted when the first coronavirus cases were recorded on the islands. Schools closed down and learning took place online.

The education and health authorities have issued a number of guidelines and protocols to be implemented in schools.

During a visit at a school in Baħrija last week, Minister Bonnici said that the health authorities have liaised with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the reopening of schools to ensure all necessary measures were taken.

Schools in the time of coronavirus:

Minister Bonnici and the permanent secretary at the Education Ministry Frank Fabri are currently visiting different schools to assess the preparations underway.

The Education Minister said that the Occupational Health and Safety Authority is carrying out the risk assessments in every school. It is then issuing a certificate to those schools which can be reopened safely. Each school will need to be certified before it can open its doors.

Fabri rejected suggestions that there had been management by crisis ahead of the reopening of state schools, describing the ongoing preparations as the biggest operation ever carried out in the Maltese educational system during an interview with Andrew Azzopardi on 103 Malta’s Heart.

Speaking about the delay, Fabri insisted that this was not imposed by the unions, even as he emphasised the need to achieve consensus on the matter.

Video: Miguela Xuereb

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