Nov 23, 2020

Police to assist re-opening of schools Featured

Police have been informed to assist in the re-opening of schools across the island if a request of such nature is made by the health authorities.

Speaking to media, Police spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said Traffic Police Officers were informed to supervise the transportation of school students and that these vehicles must adhere to quarantine regulations.

He said Police will not file charges against school transport drivers, and will instead ensure the safety of students.

He also requested parents to provide necessary advice to their children.

Mixed reactions

Meanwhile, the move to reopen schools, which commenced from today (23), has garnered mixed reactions.

The All Island School Children’s Transport Association says they will strictly adhere to directives issued by health authorities.

Speaking to media, the association's secretary - Lalith Chandrasiri said he was in support of the decision adding that social distancing in vehicles was not a concern as only students above Grade 6 are permitted to attend schools.

However, the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) says it opposes the decision to reopen schools.

Speaking to media, Chairman Joseph Stalin said that it is appropriate to only bring in students of Grades 11, 12 and 13 to schools, within the first week. Stalin noted it has not been guaranteed that Covid-19 will not spread through the school system.

He stated while the Education Ministry Secretary claims over Rs.250 million have been allocated to ensure the safety of students, no such provisions have been released to regional authorities.

Joseph Stalin stressed it is a serious risk to conduct tests on school children regarding the spread of Covid-19.

Responsibility

Meanwhile, speaking at a TV programme, secretary of the Education ministry - Prof. Kapila Perera has said that he will have to take the responsibility if a risk of Covid-19 clusters emerging from schools, does occur.

During the 'Big Focus' programme in 'Derana TV' yesterday (22), he was questioned as to who will bear the responsibility at the event of such a risk.

‘Definitely, I’ll have to take the responsibility on behalf of the government', he had said.

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