Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021
Teachers have received curriculum guidelines for three possible scenarios when schools reopen in 28 September 2020 in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidelines include instruction about smaller classrooms, desks that are 1.5m apart, the use of masks and keeping children in bubbles.
Children will have their temperature taken upon entry into school and asked to sanitise their hands. Parents will be encouraged to drop off their children and leave so as not to create crowds outside school.
Parents must also keep children at home if they are sick, or they have someone at home who is sick.
While the authorities are adamant that schools will reopen as normal, they have considered two other options - children attending school in alternating groups, or learning will completely revert online.
The scenarios are listed in the curriculum guidelines issued by the education authorities to educators.
The preferred scenario is for schools to open as usual and for all students to attend. The second scenario will see schools reopen but classrooms with have fewer students since they will be attending on alternate days. The third scenario envisages a situation where schools will not reopen, and teaching will be done online.
Educators are also being encouraged to spend the first few lessons trying to understand whether students have any specific learning gaps to be able to address them.
Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2019-2020
Information and materials for educators became available on a website dedicated to curriculum content and another website dedicated to digital literacy. Teachers were encouraged to upload and share with the community their resources, an initiative they embrace. They could choose any platform they wish to carry out their lessons online, something that can be challenging sometimes for students as they need to use multiple platforms. There were some digitally advanced teachers and some others that need more guidance as they are not used to use digital tools. The ministry operated hotlines for teachers with digital difficulties or psychological support.
One of the concerns is assessment in a school and national level. A dedicated working group of education stakeholders was formed and worked together in providing solutions to the challenges.