Region one education director, Alagie Ousman Bah, said all measures have been put in place and every school has been fumigated and effective teaching and learning have started.
"We had a talk with the teachers to make sure that they always put on the face masks because they are protecting themselves and their colleagues. Alternate break period will also observed for students and there will not be more than twenty-five students in class and there are permanent seats for each child," he said.
Representative of the principals, Kurah Njie, principal of Latrikunda Upper Basic School, who has a population of 2027 students, shared her experience, saying her school is safe because all protocols recommended by the WHO, Health Ministry, and MoBSE are being observed. She added that even market vendors in the school wear face masks right at the school gate and their temperatures are checked likewise the students and staff.
Bakary Kanyi, who spoke on behalf of parents, said visits were made to schools by parents and assured that if all the preventive measures are put in place there will be safety for children.
Ba Samba Baldeh from the West African Examinations Council said the reopening of schools was necessary because if the closure had been longer, it would have resulted in the loss of the academic year.
Mr Baldeh said since the examinations are the culminating activity for the academic year, the Banjul office of WAEC is ready to conduct the 2020 series of examinations beginning with grade nines and subsequently the WASSE for school candidates followed by the private candidates.
He said the council is still in the process of finalising the timetable for WASSE because it involves five member countries. He assured that the WASSE exams are going to take place in the second half of August 2020. "The grade nines will start exams on July 20th and end on July 29th."
Momodou Njie from the ministry of health said his ministry is tirelessly on the fight against COVID-19. "We have visited schools to make sure all the preventive measures are put in place because COVID-19 is everyone's business."
He encouraged parents to help their school-going children wash their face masks especially those locally made.