Request to ease of social distancing at schools - Solomon Star News

Request to ease of social distancing at schools

22 June 2020
Dr. Franco Rodie.

THE Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) is yet to respond to a request to ease social distancing at schools.

Social distancing rule was applied mainly in schools within the emergency zones like in Honiara. 

After visiting those schools and conducting awareness to school leaders, MEHRD has encouraged schools within the zone to adhere to some of the measures which include social distancing and washing of hands.

Permanent Secretary Franco Rodie during the talkback show on Sunday confirmed they have received a request to start easing that practise given that it disrupts their academic activities and performance.

“We have received a request if those measures can be eased because what is happening in some of the schools in Honiara is that, they have alternate students attending schools where some attend classes at a particular day whilst others stay at home waiting for their turn next day,” he said.

Dr. Rodie said the request was based on the call to go back to normalcy since such practise really disrupts students learning.

He said MEHRD has already taken note of that request but have to seek the final decision from the oversight committee.

“We have decided to put the request before the oversight committee so that they can make the decision and hopefully by mid of this week, we should let the schools aware of the respond,” he said.

Meanwhile, a number of parents in the city have also raised similar concerns about the social distancing rules applied at schools.

This is because it had affected students learning for the past weeks.

A father who declined to be named told the paper that most students in Honiara are denied their education because they miss out a lot on some of their important subjects compared to many students in the provinces who continued to enjoy normal classes five days a week compared to Honiara-based students.

“And these students in the provinces are able to cover all their topics for term two,” he said.

The father said while schools are being imposed with rules, these students when traveling to and back from schools in buses are already mingling with the public.

“So what difference does it makes. Even at home, communities, church activities, and even along the streets of Honiara students are exposed.

“So the ministry and the oversight committee should look at this.

“We also have the testing capability in Honiara so its time to ease the restrictions,” the father who has a number of kids attending schools in Honiara said.