Ministry urges students, teachers to return home at the earliest

The Education Ministry has urged students and teachers holidaying away from home to return to their islands at the earliest.

A statement issued by the Education Ministry on Monday said students and teachers who are currently away from their islands for the holidays are urged to return to their islands as per the travel guidelines issued by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The statement further said the ministry's foremost priority is to ensure that the school sessions can continue without interruption.

Due to the COVID-19 positivity rate rising above five percent in the Greater Male' Region after the Omicron was detected in the Maldives, the Education Ministry has updated its guidelines for schools for the upcoming term. In a circular issued on Sunday, schools were asked not to allow students and staff who traveled abroad during the break before a negative PCR test result was provided within five days of arrival in the Maldives.

Additionally, those who traveled to islands under HPA monitoring must undergo PCR testing within four days of returning to Male' and must not attend school before receiving a negative result.

The ministry said students and staff must wear masks at all times on school premises. Handwashing facilities must also be available. Schools are mandated to enforce all measures.

When the Maldives' COVID-19 situation deteriorated in 2020, schools, universities, colleges, and tuition centers were closed for over a year, and classes were conducted online.