Society & Culture

Education ministry cuts down school hours in ‘new normal’

Ministry of Education reduced the total time of school sessions amidst the increasing number of virus cases in the Maldives, following the state’s easing of lockdown measures in an effort to transition to the ‘new normal’.

According to a circular disseminated to the schools, starting from August 23, the duration of each school period will be reduced from 45 minutes to 35 minutes, with suggestions from principals and teachers.

However, despite the time reduction, the total number of subjects taught each week was increased.

With this alteration, students from grades five to eight will sit through 24 periods of classes each week. Formerly, students of grades five and six had weekly classes consisting of 19 periods, while students of grades seven and eight had 17 periods.

Moreover, the number of weekly periods were increased from 17 to 23 for students in grades nine and ten.

Despite the aforementioned changes, schools will continue to follow the ‘new normal’ guidelines, which allocate one hour from the session time for hand washing and other safety measures.

If all the required subjects cannot be taught within the allocated time duration, education ministry instructed schools to hold additional online classes.

After the initial shutdown on March 12, the state reopened schools after a three-month closure on July 1.

However, due to the increasing number of daily COVID-19 cases identified in the Greater Male’ region, schools were shut down for a two-week period while studies were conducted via online classes

The news comes at a time when teachers and students alike have raised concerns about the difficulty of conducting online classes, especially due to the inadequacy of internet services in the country.

The island nation now records total 6,079 confirmed and 2,407 active COVID-19 cases, along with 3,648 recoveries and 24 deaths.

After recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, the island nation recorded a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita, indicating an alarming community spread in the country.

The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a ‘new normal’ with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male’ Region. As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives’ capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

Noting the economic repercussions of implementing lockdown measures again, authorities have continually requested the public to adhere to HPA’s safety guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus as life continues in the ‘new normal’.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 22.3 million people and claimed over 784,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 15 million people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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