Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology,
Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, made this statement, today, in the National
Assembly, during her intervention on the two Bills. Referring to the amendments
being brought to the Education Act in the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions)
Bill, she stated that they will provide for distance education during temporary
closure of educational institutions as well as make provisions for staffs of
educational institutions to produce and conduct, distance education and online
learning programmes, including
include social and physical distancing in educational institutions to be
applied as a result of infectious diseases occurring in epidemic forms; and the
keeping and the management of a register containing the contact details of
school staff, of Managers of secondary schools and of the responsible parties
for students, to be used for the purpose of distance education and online
Measures taken to
mitigate impacts on education sector
Minister recalled that the disruption in the delivery of education, due
to the Covid-19 outbreak, has pushed Government to figure out how to drive
engagement at scale while ensuring inclusive e-learning solutions and tackling
the digital divide. Hence, the two Bills, she added, will help to adopt new
approaches in times of crisis.
the education sector, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun underpinned that maintaining educational
continuity and the timely reopening of schools so as to ensure the safety and
health of learners constitute the main driving force behind the setting up of a
Task Force at the level of her Ministry. She indicated that since the lockdown,
a series of customised educational and online programmes have been created for
students. Furthermore, consultations are being held regularly with rectors,
teachers and directors of zones to work out a plan for the reopening of
educational institutions which will occur in a phased manner, she added.
about school resumption, the Vice-Prime Ministersaid that Government is being
guided by international experience while taking into account the local context
and reality for the partial re-opening.
that the upper grades will resume on the 3rd August 2020, while the
lower grades will go back to school at a later stage. This measure, she
highlighted, will ensure that social distancing is maintained. Physical
distancing, staggered breaks, reduced class size, and the review of school calendar
and time table, are several aspects of schooling which are being addressed, said the Minister.
She expressed conviction that the pandemic offers an opportunity to build education systems that are more inclusive, support all children to learn and are more resilient in future crises. According to her, blended learning which combines classroom learning with online learning is the new norm. She appealed for a change of mindset among stakeholders as the alternate modes of learning will now be the new way of instructional life.
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