Homemade masks will do for school: Education

covid 19 mask protection

Days away from the resumption of classroom learning for more than 22,000 students in years 12 and 13 across Fiji, a little over 13 per cent of children aged between 15 and 17 years who have had their first dose gone on to receive their second.

It is unclear how many of those fully vaccinated recently are in years 12 and 13.

Numbers kept with the ministry show that 22,624 students are in years 12 and 13, of which 40 per cent are in year 13, with more than 8,000 of them aged above 18. As of September, 26 per cent of these students aged above 18 had reportedly received both jabs during the adult vaccination program.

However their vaccination status will not have any bearing on their return to in-person learning which is ably supported by the COVID Safe School Reopening Protocols one of which makes mask wearing mandatory particularly in the classroom and in crowded spaces outdoors.

Minister for Education Premila Kumar reminds parents and guardians to ensure their child is wearing good quality masks that are multi-layered, comfortable and must cover mouth and nose.

“Homemade masks are fine as long as these are multi-layered and made from cloth that is comfortable and suitable for hot and moist environments,” Kumar said. “Handwashing with soap and clean water is necessary. Most schools have WASH facilities and regular hand washing with soap and clean water will need to be practiced.”

Heads of schools have also been urged to prepare the school environment and classrooms ready for the return of their students by 31 October.

“Students have missed face to face teaching and learning in a classroom for almost six months and now is the time for us to bring them to school and that too with all safety and care.”

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