The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) has announced the dates that Schools, Rural Training Centres and Early Childhood Centres will open. The decision to open schools was made by the Solomon Islands Government Cabinet following MEHRD recommendations of the dates that Schools, Rural Training Centres and ECE Centres would open for the 2022 academic year.
Students will return to classrooms across the country in the middle of Term 2 – but not all at once and not straight away. The MEHRD has considered a delayed and staggered approach to allow face-to face teaching and learning – after almost 15 weeks of school closures. The decision to open schools is to avoid a learning catastrophe despite a second wave of Covid-19 prevailing in the country.
The revised 2022 School Calendar will be sent to Education Authorities before the end of this week – they will then send them to their school to make them aware of the changes made to the school terms and holidays.
The dates for opening of schools and actual date to commence classes was announced by James Bosamata, Chair of the MEHRD Communication Committee during the MEHRD Radio Program broadcasted through the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) on Monday 9 May 2022.
All Secondary Schools Years 7 to 12 and Rural Training Centres will start classes on the 30 May 2022.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr Rodie said that Secondary and Rural Training Centres teachers should travel to their respective schools (if they have not done so) by 23 May 2022 to prepare for the start of classes.
Years 7 to 12 Secondary School students (who will be attending boarding schools or day schools this year) and Rural Training Centre students who are currently residing in their home provinces should travel to their respective schools and Rural Training Centre, starting on 23 May 2022.
Primary Preparation Year and Primary Schools from Years 1 to 6 will begin classes on 13 June 2022.
Dr Rodie is appealing to Primary school teachers to travel to their respective schools by 30 May 2022 to prepare for the start of classes.
Early Childhood Education Centres will start classes on 4 July 2022, therefore teachers of ECE should commence their preparation for the year as of 13 June 2022.
MEHRD has decided to consider a delayed and staggered approach to opening of ECE centres, Schools and Rural Training Centres to minimise overcrowding at schools especially in community high schools that have ece, primary and secondary.
The other reason for delaying the opening of ECE centres and primary schools is that the children have not had their vaccinations because the vaccine for the targeted children of age between 5 and 11 is not available in the country. The MEHRD hopes that the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will roll out a vaccination program that target ECE and primary school aged children between this month of May and July so that the children can be vaccinated against the Covid-19 before they return to the classrooms.
MEHRD and Education Authorities will provide additional support to schools to be ready to open safely.
“In supporting schools during this Covid-19 crisis in the country, school principals are advised to use 60% of the grants on Covid-19 preparedness and response related expenditure. 40% of the grant received should be used for teaching and learning resources,” MEHRD stated.