‘Parents pleased with reopening of schools’

2020-11-26 at 13:25

Minister of Education Professor GL Peiris says parents of school children are pleased with the reopening of schools despite certain shortcomings.

Speaking in Parliament today Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa claimed the government reopened schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic without a stringent plan.

He added sufficient time was not granted to ensure the health and safety of students when reopening schools.

The Opposition Leader noted although a decision was reached to reopen schools on the 23rd, schools in Kilinochchi, 45 schools in the Kandy educational zone and several schools within the Kurunegala city limits remain closed.

He claimed while the government stated financial provisions have been allocated for disinfection and other safety measures, in reality the funds have not been directed to the relevant education offices.

Responding to the Opposition Leader’s statement Minister GL Peiris said the decision to reopen schools was reached following broad discussions with relevant parties.

The Education Minister said the attendance of students and teachers at schools is increasing daily.

The Minister noted on the 23rd 34% of students attended school while 44% were present on the 24th adding that the number increased to 51% yesterday.

He added 82% of teachers had also reported to work yesterday.

Minister Peiris said people will not immediately go out when isolation orders imposed in an area is lifted adding that it happens gradually, and when parent’s start believing that it is safe to send children to schools.

The Minister added parents are pleased as children were burdened mentally with schools being closed.

Minister GL Peiris stressed having schools closed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a practical solution.

He also questioned the Opposition Leader on whether other countries have closed schools.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa stated parents have had to bear the cost of equipment for disinfection at present and claimed the Education Minister should have followed a stringent plan when reopening schools.

In response the Education Minister reiterated schools were reopened according to a plan adding that although the Opposition Leader claims funds provided to schools are insufficient, sinks and other equipment for disinfection were sent to schools three months ago.