Classes to resume for grade 9 and above in capital: Education Ministry

Classes to resume for grade 9 and above in capital: Education Ministry

The Ministry of Education, on Monday, revealed that schools in the capital city of Male' would initially start teaching students in Grade 9 and above in July.

Speaking to local media outlet Mihaaru, the ministry's Senior Policy Director Moosa Adam stated that schools in Male' were currently preparing to resume teaching for pupils in key stage 4 (grade 9 and 10) and 5 (grade 11 and 12).

He elaborated that schools across the country were categorized into three groups during the new normal. Schools located in islands under complete lockdown are prohibited from reopening while those in islands placed under monitoring by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) permitted to teach students from grade 9 and above. Schools in islands with no reported cases of COVID-19 are allowed to resume classes for all key stages.

As Male' city is currently the only area under monitoring, the official noted that schools in other regions of Maldives would conduct classes for all pupils enrolled from grade 1 to 12.

However, he did not specify the exact date that education would resume.

The closure of schools, universities and training facilities was one of the first measures implemented by the government after declaring a state of public health emergency on March 12 in response to a COVID-19 outbreak.

During the three-month period in which education institutions across the country have remained closed, the state has opted for several measures such as Telekilaas in an effort to ensure that students do not fall behind.

Following the lockdown first declared on April 15, authorities commenced the phased easing of restrictions on May 28, with the second phase beginning on June 15. This allows movement without permit for essential needs, businesses and delivery services, as well as other necessities within limitations as stated by the HPA.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15. However, the number of recoveries recorded daily are now consistently higher than newly confirmed cases.

Maldives presently records a total of 2,035 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 714 are active cases. The country records 1,311 recoveries and eight deaths.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 7.9 million people and claimed over 435,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 4.1 million people have recovered.