Ministry of Education Releases Operation Guidelines For Exam Candidates

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Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE)

By Foday Moriba Conteh

In a Press Release issued by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) it was stated that  parents, guardians , education stakeholders including learners and teachers and the general public must be informed  that preparatory work for school reopening on July 1st 2020 are far advanced.

It furthered that as a Ministry, their objectives are three-fold: protecting learners, teachers and the community from COVID-19; enhancing the safety and wellbeing of children and in particular girls; and enhancing quality teaching and learning in schools to improve learning outcomes.

According to the Ministry the following are guidelines have been put in place for school reopening for NPSE, BECE and WASSCE candidates:

  1. Operational hours for schools are from 8:45 AM – 2:00 PM, 5 days a week.
  2. There will be no two-shift system or afternoon classes.

All schools (including those in the afternoon shift before the closure of schools on 31st March, 2020) will start at 8:45 AM and end at 2:00 PM; detailed daily school schedules/timetables will be shared by schools.

  1. Students will have one break for 20 minutes, and must remain in their classrooms during the break. Social distancing should be adhered to during this period and at all times.
  2. There will be no recess or cafeteria opened to students during the operation of schools.
  3. Parents and guardians are encouraged to provide lunch packs for their children to carry to school. Government will supply take-home dry food rations to pupils in Primary schools during the operational periods of schools.
  4. The Government will provide a one-time transportation for all students and teachers needing to return to their locations of schooling and teaching. Details will be made public separately.
  5. The conduct of extra classes after the regular school hours (8:45 AM – 2:00 PM) as stipulated in this release is strongly prohibited.
  6. Students and teachers are required to observe all other COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines in schools, and immediately report any sick student or teacher to the National COVID-1 9 Emergency Response Center by calling 117.
  7. Parents/guardians are encouraged to ensure that their children wash their hands before and after school with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wash their face masks each day after school. Face masks will be provided by the Government to pupils and teachers.
  8. Parents are asked to keep their children at home if they have COVID-1 9 related symptoms and report to 117 immediately. Children with symptoms will be asked to return home.
  9. Any school or teacher who violates these guidelines will face disciplinary measures. The MBSSE, Ministry of Health and Sanitation/COVID-19 Emergency Response Center and education partners will continue to organize, coordinate and monitor all schools affected by the school reopening to ensure the maximum safety of pupils and teachers.

It was also made clear that the MBSSE will communicate any further details about the operation of schools through official channels further stating that citizens are advised to use only verified information from MBSSE published on the Ministry’s official website (www.mbsse.qov.sl) or other channels but with MBSSE official stamps.

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