ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to reopen schools with a student population of less than 100 in July under health guidelines, Education Minister Prof G L Peiris said.
It was decided at a meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka cannot continue to keep schools closed, Peiris told reporters Friday (02).
The education ministry closed schools and universities as COVID-19 cases spiked in a third wave that until recently saw over 2,000 cases a day.
“It was decided to formulate a plan to reopen the schools step by step,” the minister said.
According to Peiris, the ministry plans to reopen 2,962 schools with less than 100 students in total in the month of July.
At the meeting it was also decided to first reopen 1,439 schools with less than 50 students and subsequently reopen 1,523 schools with 51-100 students.
The president has instructed that it is mandatory to vaccinate teachers against COVID-19 in order to go ahead with school reopenings, the minister said.
The ministry has also identified schools with issues pertaining to online education, he added.
“The government expects to provide facilities to students without access to the internet, via Mahindodaya Labs, schools, temples and community halls,” he said.
Dedicated satellite television channels for each grade will be also be launched soon, he added. (Colombo/July02/2021)