National schools to continue online classes after reopening | Sunday Observer

National schools to continue online classes after reopening

3 October, 2021

National schools with higher student populations, after reopening, will continue online classes along with physical classes till the Covid-19 situation is completely under control in the country, Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said.

He said the schools with higher student populations will be reopened under the last tier of the reopening program and the aim is to prevent the creation of school Covid clusters. However, the Education Ministry is awaiting Health Ministry approval to decide on a timeframe for the reopening. The greenlight is expected by the middle of this month.

The timeframe for the reopening of national and large schools will depend on how the first and second tier schools respond after reopening. “We have suggested that classes with over 40 children be divided into three groups, those below 40 into two groups and if the number of students are less than 20, the entire class can attend physical classes. When one group is allowed to come to school the others will have to attend online classes,” Prof.Perera said.

Under the first phase, Grades 1 to 5 of schools with less than 200 students will be reopened. Under the second phase all Grades (classes), in small schools with a student population of 100 will be reopened. Under the third phase, Grades 10, 11, 12 and 13 of all schools will be reopened. Under the fourth phase, all other Grades in all schools countrywide will be reopened. The schools will need to ensure children wear face masks, follow respiratory etiquette, hand washing and social distancing norms.

The large classes will continue with online and physical classes alternatively to help students maintain social distancing norms. “The teachers will have to share the daily lesson with the other students using online facilities. We are exploring the possibility of using other modes of education such as the Guru Gedara program on the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation to compensate for what might be missed out,” Prof. Perera said.