School start for students in kindergarten through year 11 will potentially start either November end or early January, Fiji’s Ministry of Education says.
Speaking at a press event today, Minister for Education Premila Kumar said the exact date hinges on the country’s COVID-19 status quo and the weather situation with the 2021/22 tropical cyclone season starting next Monday through April end.
“Acting in the face of uncertainty we can share with the two days for the opening of school for ECE and years 1 to 11. The schools can reopen for all students on 29 November provided more children and adults get vaccinated, and active cases in our community decreases. Otherwise schools for all students will commence from 4 January 22 provided there is no third wave or natural disaster.”
“These dates are not presented in a very confusing manner. Because of COVID-19, there is alot of uncertainty around us and based on this uncertainty we have to make decisions and we have come up with these two dates. If all goes well, schools will open on 29 November, if nor it will open on 4 January.”
For years 12 and 13, in-classroom learning will start from next Monday as initially announced.
Their return will present heads of schools, teachers and ancillary staff likewise the ministry an opportunity to pilot its covid-safe return to school protocols set out in its guiding document, which Kumar says can change depending on new scientific evidence or as guided by the Ministry of Health.
“Regarding school guideline, this document can change depending on new scientific evidence or as guided by the Ministry of Health. Uncertainty is linked with COVID-19 pandemic and in such situations decision making can be harder. Nobody knows when the pandemic will be over,” she said.