MINISTRY of Education and Human Resources Development’s (MEHRD) Deputy Permanent Secretary James Bosamata has confirmed that Cabinet had approved the repatriation of students studying in the Philippines.
Mr Bosamata said that both Solomon Island Government and private sponsored students would be repatriated.
Bosamata explained that after Cabinet approved the repatriation of students from the Philippines, his ministry has established a task force consisting of staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education to facilitate the flight.
“It is very important that we have the information about the students’ addresses in the Philippines because they need to be tested before we repatriate them,” he said.
He added they will do their best to organize the repatriation flights in a way that the country will be protected.
Earlier on, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare confirmed that with the worsening situation in the Philippines, his government has made the decision to repatriate the students.
“Officials are now working on how best this can be done, to ensure that all our students are safe, that they are tested prior to their return so that we do not open ourselves to the possible risk of bringing COVID-19 into the country through our returning students.
“Dates for repatriation flights will depend on the completion of risk assessments, pre-departure testing protocols, and securing of agreement of the host governments to allow our students to leave given that they have travel restriction and the Philippines is undergoing a lockdown as well,” said Prime Minister Sogavare.
By ESTHER NURIA