Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Schools lockdown until 2020 parliament­ary election concludes

Health Ministry gives Education Ministry green light to recommence classes for exam grades, if necessary

- - DW

The Health Ministry has recommende­d schools throughout the country remain closed until the parliament­ary election scheduled for August 5 concludes.

However, Health Ministry officials said the Education Ministry can recommence classes for Grades 11 and 13 prior to the election, if necessary. Education Ministry sources said a decision on either recommenci­ng classes for these students or keeping schools closed for all students until after the election, would be announced on Monday (July 20).

Schools will not open for all grades immediatel­y after the election. The Education Ministry had decided to follow the procedure of reopening schools in various stages, as it had planned before the recent closure of schools, the sources added.

Meanwhile, a high level committee of Education Ministry officials had been appointed to look into any health related issues for schools arising from the COVID19 pandemic.

The committee will be headed by Education Ministry Secretary N. H. M. Chitranand­a, and will include several Education Ministry additional secretarie­s.

A new hotline - 1988 - will be introduced for people to inform the Ministry of any issues they had related to schools and COVID-19.

The new committee will meet on a daily basis to review the current situation. It also has the authority to give directions to zonal education directors and school principals regarding steps they need to take to prevent the spread of the virus.

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