Easing of social distancing at schools discussed - Solomon Star News

Easing of social distancing at schools discussed

14 July 2020
James Bosamata.

THE Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) will start looking at easing off social distancing in schools within the emergency zones.

Speaking at a recent talk back show, MEHRD Deputy Secretary and chairman of the MEHRD COVID-19 communication oversight committee James Bosamata said following a meeting held with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) last week, the outcome was they have to make sure the plans for those concern schools are effective.

“As I have already mentioned on the previous talk back show, the preparedness and response plan for each schools as well as their standard operating procedures have already been developed but the question is how effective are they,” he said.

Mr. Bosamata said the two ministries have agreed and proposed that a mock exercise or drill should take place to see how well those schools are ready if there’s an outbreak of the COVID-19.

He said the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) together with the two ministries will have to call for a meeting with the school leaders again and during that meeting, NDMO will outline the process on the simulation.

“So the three sectors NDMO, MHMS and MEHRD will have to meet again with those school leaders to inform them on the procedure and to brief them on what they expect to do during the mock exercise,” he said.

Mr. Bosamata said the great concern is on boarding schools where students are accommodated in the schools unlike day schools because when there’s an outbreak, day school students can just remain back at their homes whilst for boarding students they have to be cared for by the school management.

He said the meeting is proposed for sometimes this week or next week which will include leaders of all schools in Honiara as well as Betikama, St Joseph Tenaru and Selwyn College.