The Ministry of Education and Youth has mandated the wearing of masks in schools effective immediately and until further advised.
In a bulletin on Thursday (May 19), the Ministry said that the mask mandate is in response to the rise in the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rate.
School administrators have been reporting an increase in suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff and students.
The Ministry advised that students and staff who turn up to school without a mask should not be denied access but should be assisted with a mask to facilitate teaching and learning.
Administrators are also being reminded to resensitise all key stakeholders about the protocols to be observed, including regular washing of hands and temperature checks. The bulletin also stated that where it becomes necessary, school administrators may need to revert to remote learning opportunities in response to cases of exposure to COVID-19.
This is to provide for the continuation of learning, the sanitising of classrooms/buildings, observation of quarantine standards, as well as for the affected persons to be tested and treated accordingly. Before a decision is taken to revert to remote learning, the principal/board chairman must consult with the regional director/education officer, for approval and guidance.
It must be noted that provisions should be made to continue the learning programme for students who do not have access to online learning. The Ministry is reminding all stakeholders that they have a responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19 and is encouraging school leaders, teachers, parents, support staff and students to get vaccinated against the virus.
For additional information and queries, school administrators can contact their regional office or the assigned education officer.