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Government will arrange exams for students that test positive, are quarantined

Shahudha Mohamed
01 October 2020, MVT 10:12
A teacher checking the temperature of a student in front of the school gate. Ministry of Education assured that precautionary measures will be set in place to ensure that students' health and safety are ensured while attending school and sitting for exams. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
01 October 2020, MVT 10:12

Ministry of Education, on Wednesday, revealed that authorities will make arrangements for every single student to sit for their exams, including students infected with COVID-19 or placed in quarantine.

Speaking at the press conference held by the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC), Deputy Minister of Education Mohamed Ihusan stated that these arrangements will be made on every island so that no student will miss out on their exams.

According to Ihusan, the ministry has designated examination centres for the year and trained invigilators according to the SOPs and guidelines prepared by the relevant authorities to ensure the health and safety of every student.

By Thursday, he assured that the examination papers will be provided to the required institutions.

Ihusan noted that there will be no major difference in conducting the examinations other than the safety measures set in place, such as handwashing and sanitising as well as wearing a mask through the duration of the examination.

He also noted that educational institutions will share all relevant information with students and parents beforehand.

During the press conference, Minister of Education Dr Aishath Ali announced that the session time for schools on islands without COVID-19 cases will be increased from next week.

According to the minister, the option was adopted to improve the students' schooling experience, which is greatly minimised while conducting online sessions.

She also emphasised that the syllabus will be covered at the same rate for students in Male' area as well as the islands, despite the increased session timings for the latter, since online classes will be held regularly to compensate for students that have shorter session timings.

As schools in the Greater Male' region gear up to open on October 4 after being shut down on August 9 due to an upsurge in virus infections, Minister Aishath stated that the preventive measures implemented in schools have been successful in preventing a cluster linked to any educational institutions.

Although the standard time allocated for each period during the new normal was initially 45 minutes, the time has now been reduced to 35 minutes. Education Ministry also made other adjustments such as increasing the number of subjects taught per week.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, schools were shut down from March 12 till July 1. Throughout the pandemic, most of the teaching was done through online classes.

Maldives currently records a total of 10,291 virus cases of which 1,142 are active cases, in addition to 9,108 recoveries and 34 deaths.

During last month, authorities tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male' region, following an alarming upsurge of COVID-19 cases after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions.

Despite the sustained decrease in virus cases, HPA has renewed calls for citizens to adhere to protective measures to contain the spread of the virus, cautioning against a public sentiment that the outbreak has been “controlled”.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 34 million people and claimed over 1 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 25.3 million people have recovered.

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