Most schools islandwide to reopen 23 Nov
By Thameenah Razeek
Schools across the country, except those in the Western Province and isolated areas, will reopen on Monday 23 November, Education Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said.
Addressing the Media yesterday (19), Prof. Peiris said, schools will re-open for academic activities from Grades 6 to 13 only.
There are 6,257 schools which have classes from Grades 6 to 11. Among them, the number of schools with less than 15 students per class makes up 28.6 per cent and those with 16 to 30 students was 43.6%. There are also 2,898 schools having classes for Grades 12 and13. The percentage of schools with less than 15 students in a class was 53.4% and those where classes are conducted for 16 to 30 students is 36.7%.
He also said in the next few days, discussions would be held with the transport sector regarding health and safety measures to be taken by students regarding transport.
However, schools will not be started for the Primary Grades – One to Five –due to the prevailing practical situation regarding ensuring health care.
“Schools in the Western Province will not open on 23 November for the third term and the decision regarding an opening date is still being discussed. Also, students living outside the Western Province will not be allowed to attend schools in the Western Province and vice versa,” he claimed.
He further said that the decision on re-opening schools within the Western Province and the isolated areas cannot be taken from Isurupaya (where the Ministry of Education is located) alone, since the situation from one school to another is totally different. He said that they have therefore established a committee consisting of school principals, Provincial public health officers, grama niladaris, school development society representatives and members of alumni associations, to take a decision regarding the re-opening of schools, adding that the circular in this regard has since been issued.
“The monitoring process of resuming the academic activities of these schools will be done by the Zonal Directors of Education,” he noted, adding that the Zonal Education Directors have an extensive job to monitor and examine the decisions taken by the said committee.
Prof. Peiris also raised concerns regarding the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Examination that is scheduled to be conducted in January 2021. He noted that there will be an issue on conducting the Examination on the same day if they could not re-open the Grades 10 and 11 in the Western Province and the isolated areas within two weeks. However, within two weeks, the Education Ministry will be able to take a decision regarding whether the dates are being amended or not, he added.