Update – Sri Lanka Education Ministry says in a statement that there is NO truth in the news reported by some print media, Social Media and websites that the Ministry of Education is planning to re-open schools for all grades by June 1. The date and the process of reopening of schools will be carried out in accordance with the directives of the Ministry of Health and the government policies.
When Sri Lanka Schools open ?
Sri Lanka government will reconsider its decision to open universities and schools on May 11 on account of the sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 patients in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane told any decision on the reopening of schools for the mid year term and the universities would be taken only on recommendations by the health authorities. He said the Vice Chancellors of the respective authorities would be given authority to decide on it .
“Previously, we had decided to resume work for the academic staff of the respective universities. We are now encouraging them to carry out academic activities online as much as possible. Online education is all the more important,” he said.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s Army Chief, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said that opening schools on May 11 may not be possible as several logistics would have to be put in place to ensure the safety of children in classrooms.
Even if schools do re-open, there will have to be a first handed special operation put in place and guidelines will have to be set as Sri Lankan schools have a minimum of 30 to 40 children per class. We will let the health experts review the situation and advise us what to do. If schools cannot open on May 11, we will have them closed further.
“As of now, I do not foresee that it could be opened on May 11. My belief is that up to 75%, it may not be possible,” Lt. Gen. Silva said. He explained that even if schools do re-open, there will have to be a first handed special operation put in place and guidelines will have to be set as Sri Lankan schools have a minimum of 30 to 40 children per class.
“A lot of logistics are required to think and practice before schools start. Everyone in the school will have to know exactly what they can do and what they cannot.
There is a lot of planning to do before the children could attend school. So considering all these logistics, we wonder whether every school has that much of facilities to cope up and open. This is the reason I believe that we may not be able to open on May 11,” the Army chief said.