Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Reopening of schools put off by one week

O/L and A/L students to resume lessons on July 27, lower grades from August 10 onwards

- By Chrishanth­i Christophe­r

Yesterday, the Education Ministry postponed the reopening of schools by another week. Accordingl­y, all schools will be closed until July 27. The Ministry however, noted that classes will only recommence for Grades 11, 12 and 13 on this date.

While schools will reopen for the above grades on July 27, all schools in the Rajanganay­a and Welikanda education zones, where a significan­t number of COVID- 19 cases have been reported, will remain closed until August 10.

The Ministry planned to reopen all schools on August 10, after the conclusion of the 2020 parliament­ary election.

Meanwhile, the education authoritie­s had planned to announce the dates of the GCE Advanced Level and Grade Five Scholarshi­p Exams tomorrow (July 20).

Earlier, all schools had reopened for Grades 5, 11 and 13 on July 6 as part of a four phase reopening strategy announced by the education authoritie­s. However, schools were quickly closed again last week, as the number of COVID-19 cases detected in the new cluster at the Kandakadu Drug Rehabilita­tion Centre increased.

As at present, about 200 students and teachers in five schools in the country were in quarantine. The results of their PCR tests were expected in the coming days, the Ministry said. Three school students had so far tested positive for COVID-19.

Regarding its decision to extend the interim holiday, the Education Ministry said the decision was taken in line with the health authoritie­s' the directives. The Ministry also said the Health Services Director General is of the view that there is currently no social transmissi­on of COVID-19 in the country.

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