Schools to re-open for Grades 11, 12 and 13 on July 27, the rest on August 10 – Education Minister
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s schools will stay closed for another week although the Health Authorities are convinced that there is no community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, a statement issued by the Ministry of Education said.
Education Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma, says that although the government is convinced that there is no community transmission of the virus, in the interest of the student body, it has been decided to extend the current holiday until Monday, July 27.
“Only students in the Grades 11, 12 and 13 need to report on this days,” the Minister’s statement said.
He pointed out that the Director-General Health Services has directed that all schools can re-open on Monday, August 10 after the Parliamentary General Elections are held on August 5.
However, in the Rajangana and Welikanda areas where several school-going children have tested positive for COVID-19, schools will not reopen on July 27 for any classes.
In Rajangana, according to the Task Force to Curb COVID, two school children, one aged 11 and another aged 12, have been found to be COVID-19 positive.
Alahapperuma pointed out that around 200 students and teachers are currently under quarantine because they are at risk from the virus due to contacts with infected relatives or associates.
Alahapperuma noted that the PCR testing of these teachers and students is underway and those results will be known only in the next few days.
The schools, therefore, will be closed because a decision needs to be taken after the results are known, he said.
The statement added that the date of the Grade 5 scholarship examination will be announced on Monday, July 20.
Schools were closed as Sri Lanka’s newest COVID-19 cluster from the Kandakadu and Senapura Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment centre burst on the scene.
Up to now, from July 7 onwards, more than 550 Coronavirus cases have been reported from the camps.
They include inmates as well as staff and relatives and associates of staff members who went home on leave.
COVID positive patients related to this cluster have been discovered from the 5 districts mentioned in Alahapperuma’s statement. They range from Agbopura in Trincomalee to Hakmana in the South.
This is also the first time that school-going children have found to be infected. As they have attended school and tuition classes, large numbers of students and teachers are also quarantined. (Colombo, July 18, 2020-sb)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana