Schools reopened on Sunday, marking the commencement of the 2020 academic new year.
A total of 212 schools across the country will cater to over 83,000 students, out of which 73,067 attend public schools.
Speaking at the school reopening ceremony of Alif Alif Atoll Education Centre, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Maleeh Jamaal said that education was previously reserved for the rich and the aristocrats, but that it has changed towards a future where a successful person does not have to represent a certain class or lineage.
"If the student is academically adept and is well-disciplined, then the sky is the limit!", said the Minister.
According to Aishath Mohamed Solih, Principal of Majeedhiyya School, the first batch of students enrolled through the mixed-gender classes introduced in 2010 will sit for their Cambridge O Level examinations at the end of this year.
As the only school in the country to teach from pre-school through Cambridge A Levels, Principal of Ahmadhiyya International School, Mohamed Rasheed declared their decision to modify teaching methods to a more participatory approach that can better engage students in their own learning.
Hiriya School Principal Rinzy Waheed noted the importance of teaching life skills to children in preparation for their future, stating that "a child is not only beneficial to society if they place at the top of O Levels".
"We focus on the overall development of our students", said Rinzy.
The Ministry of Education revealed that 83 percent of all morning session students participated in the 'school breakfast programme' which was introduced last year. A total of 46,259 students from government schools joined the programme last year, while 9,549 students did not participate.
Breakfast provision in government schools is an electoral pledge of President Solih. A budget of MVR 123 million was allocated for the program in 2019.
Just recently, the education ministry decided to halve the annual school holidays to two parts in a notable change brought to the usual academic year calendar. The first part of the annual holidays will be from May 31, 2020, to 11 June, 2020, while the second part of the holidays runs from December 6, 2020, to January 7, 2021.