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Grade 9 students resume classes on Wednesday

Jun 22, 2020, 12:36 PM

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) announced the resumption of grade 9 classes on Wednesday 24 June 2020, four months after closure due to covid-19 pandemic.

The reopening for grade 12s would be announced later, while other categories of classes will remain closed until further notice.

The announcement was made by the Basic Education Minister Claudiana A. Cole at press briefing at her office in Banjul on Friday.

According to Minister Cole, the pandemic has brought lots of trauma and uncertainty to everybody, while emphasising that it has affected every sector of our society including the education sector.

“The closure has also affected about 674, 300 students in conventional and recognised Madrasa schools from ECD to senior secondary school levels thus resulting to an estimated loss of 265 instructional school contact hours within the 87 days of the school closure,” Minister Cole explained.

Madam Cole re-echoed that the closure seriously threatens the achievement of the annual target of 880 school contact hours. “Two weeks ago, government relaxed the State of Emergency restrictions in order to open and extend business operations and reopening of schools”.

It was from government’s decision that the Basic Education Ministry held consultative meetings with stakeholders like MoH, GTU, Conference of Principals, Association of Lower Basic School Heads (ALBASH), WB, UNICEF, UNESCO, and NATCOM among others to map out the way forward in respect to safe reopening of schools.

She highlighted that the outcome of the consultative meeting with her ministry’s stakeholders indicated that there was need for schools to reopen because continuous closure of schools would not help the education sector and the country in general.

According to MoBSE Minister, the reopening of grade 9 classes is in response to the concern expressed by parents, students and teachers as to when schools will resume normal classes.

“In keeping with the WHO health measures, Ministry of Health guidelines, my ministry will be closely working with our regional education directorates to ensure compliance on the social and physical distancing and availability of Covid-19 PPEs,” Minister Cole assured public.

By Lamin B. Darboe

Information Officer, MoBSE

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