All schools in the Western Province will be reopened on March 15 Education Minister. The Minister of Education, Prof. GL Peiris said that all schools in all three districts of the Western Province will be opened on March 15 for all grades starting from the first grade.

Speaking further the Minister said, the Ministry has received recommendations from the Regional Coordinating Committees regarding the opening of schools in the Western Province.

“We decided that it was not appropriate for the Ministry of Education in general to make a decision as the situation varies from school to school. Accordingly the school committees led by the principals obtained the views of the committees. According to the decision of those committees, we hoped that the majority of schools in the Western Province would be able to open on February 15. However, we were of the view that the recommendations could be implemented subject to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.”

The Minister said this morning they received the recommendation of the Director General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the Director General of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardena has informed that it would be more appropriate to start all schools in all three districts of the Western Province on March 15, immediately after the GCE Ordinary Level Examination, which will be held from March 01 to 11.

“We, the education authorities and the health authorities all worked together to create a conducive environment for schools to start. We have been able to create a healthier environment in schools after continuing to meet and make those decisions,” the Minister said.

Accordingly, the health authorities recommend that all schools in the Western Province should start from March 15 for all grades. Schools for children entering Grade 1 in the year 2021 will also start from March 15.

This decision is valid for international schools and government approved private schools in the Western Province. Schools in other parts of the country are currently operating, and this decision does not apply to those schools, the Minister clarified.

The Grade 11 classes that have commenced their studies in the Western Province are now functioning as usual and the academic activities for that grade will be stopped two weeks before the commencement of the O / L examination.

The Minister further stated that the school attendance percentage of students in the schools which have been started in the island has increased to 72% and the attendance of teachers has increased to 88%. “It confirms the confidence of parents and students that the schools are maintained in a healthy manner,” Prof. Peiris said.

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