Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale calls on the government to make sure that all affected students do not miss the remainder of classes for the 2020 academic year and to start working on a revised policy aimed at reducing school fees across all levels of the education system for 2021.
In his statement, the Opposition Leader points out that with the two confirmed covid-19 cases adding further uncertainty, the impact on the education system in 2020 and 2021 could have adverse consequences for students and parents.
He says while schools in the high-risk zones may have already implemented their Covid-19 school control measures, the fear of a possible outbreak in schools will now put pressure on parents and students to reconsider completing the 2020 academic year for safety reasons.
“This is a serious issue as it can easily set back the education calendar of our young for this year and the next.
“It has truly been hard for the responsible ministry considering the many unknown variables in the current circumstances, however, given the time that has passed, the government should by now have a national education preparedness plan in place to ensure education for our students continues unimpeded.
“There should be plans now in place to trigger government financial assistance to enable foregoing of any school fees still outstanding for the remainder of 2020, the establishment of infrastructure for hygiene purposes and teaching options adequate to give confidence to parents allowing their children continue to complete this year.
“Also considering the increasing economic hardships, plans must also be developed now to reduce school fee rates for next year.
“It is important to the country and concerned families that all our students end their studies well,” said Mr. Wale.
He added that given the economic hardship created by covid-19 and the reduced capacity of parents to afford school fees, the new normal must introduce new systems of running classes at a reduced cost.
“It is important regardless of what is in store for the future that our student’s education and future is not compromised. I, therefore, urge the responsible ministry to address this issue for the sake of our students and future,” the Opposition Leader concluded.