Parents panic, pick children from schools

Reports of a positive COVID-19 test case on Thursday morning led to a lot of parents returning to schools to take their children back home.

Robert Louis Stevenson Primary School Principal, Fiaapia Devoe, told the Samoa Observer that a number of worried parents returned to the school to take their children home after hearing the reports.

“While waiting for another information from the Government after hearing on the radio that there’s possibly a positive case, parents started picking up their children,” she said.

“As some parents had just arrived (to drop off their children to school), the others came running in and panicking, saying there’s a positive case and all those parents who had just arrived retreated and went back home.”

Ms Devoe there was a lot of uncertainty amongst the parents when he returned to pick up their children. 

“We take it very seriously and everybody should and we push for the students to be brought to school for their studies,” she said.

“But if it’s not safe then it’s not safe and they should stay home and that’s our response which is listening to the directive by the Government because they have the specialists.

“They know what they’re doing and we don’t want to listen to the odd pod from around complaining but if the Government says schools will be closed then we close.”

According to the Principal, only half of the student population remained in the school premises on Thursday. There are 418 students enrolled at the primary school.

As for the Robert Louis Secondary School, Vice Principal, Masa Fa’asau said the parents were advised to keep their children at home on Friday to await further direction from the Government.

“We did a newsletter to inform the parents that we’ll all be back on Friday and to finish off the exams pressure,” she said.

“And now that this has happened, we don’t have to wait for uncertain information so we’re stopping the kids from coming to school on Friday this week and we’ll see what happens if schools close or open next week.”

There are a total of 292 students enrolled at the Robert Louis Secondary School.

Students at the second school just completed their exams on Thursday and Friday and were supposed to be relaxing but that will not happen.

According to the Vice Principal, it was fortunate and good timing to have completed their exams when the positive COVID-19 case was announced. 

A Ministry of Education Sports and Culture [M.E.S.C.] public notice advised schools and parents to remain calm and maintain social distancing and other preventative measures.

"Maintain and emphasise public sanity like washing your hands with a soap, sanitizer for the protection of the students and staff," stated the Ministry’s notice.

"Vitalise social distancing during class sessions and exams. We will inform you if there's any changes especially to the end of the year's programs."

It is understood the Le Amosa Savavau Preparatory School and Vaivase Primary School were amongst those that closed earlier, prior to the Government announcing the positive coronavirus case. 

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