Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Schools ready for Monday (Updated)

Schools will be ready by Monday to receive final year high-school students, the chairman of secondary education headmasters said on Saturday.

The rest of the schools are scheduled to open on May 21.

Giorgos Iosiphides said excess desks and chairs have been removed from classrooms in line with guidelines. The remaining desks have been placed in the required distance between them and between them and the teacher.

According to guidelines, only 12 students will be present in each classroom. Signs have been placed in corridors for students to observe a two-metre distance and posters with instructions will be put up wherever necessary.

Antiseptic gels, masks, and thermometers will also be at hand.

Iosiphides said instructions were simplified so that they can be clear to students on Monday when they arrived.

Teachers have been notified of their new timetables and each school will notify graduates returning on Monday of the group they are in and the classroom they would be occupying.

On Monday, teachers will spend the entire first period and the second if necessary, to go over the health guidelines and personal safety rules the students must observe while in school.

“What is our duty as educators, if we want to succeed in this area, is to cultivate personal responsibility in students; they must behave responsibly and diligently observe the instructions they will receive in writing or verbally,” Iosiphides said.  “We will not succeed if any measures we put in place are not observed by the public.”

Headmasters and teachers took part in a web conference on Saturday during which they were briefed on the health protocols they would be applying on Monday. The presentation was conducted by Dr Zoi-Dorothea Pana and other members of the health ministry’s advisory committee who answered the teacher’s questions.

The web conference was addressed by Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou who reiterated that decisions were taken with the experts’ agreement and their implementation.

The minister said he understood the concerns but faithful adherence to the measures would help in overcoming the problems.

Dr Pana provided information on Covid-19 and the epidemiological data with emphasis on children.

The ministry plans a series of web conferences with the aim of responding to any questions on the protocol and how the virus could be tackled in schools.


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