Govt. issues coronavirus precautions ahead of exams
After Samoa activated its COVID-19 Alert Level 1 on Friday, the Ministry of Education has informed students, teachers and Principals about the precautions they must uphold during upcoming national exams.
A public notice signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.), Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata'i, outlined the preparations the Ministry was taking.
The notice states that everyone from teachers to school inspectors must adhere to the National Emergency Operation Centre’s (N.E.O.C.) guidelines for Alert Level 1 when educating students.
For those in primary schools, the Ministry stressed that starting from 30 November to the 4 December, students who have national assessments must attend school.
However, all students that do not have examinations must stay home especially those in classes 1,3,5 and 7.
It also added that there is already an examination timetable for students in classes 2,4,6 and 8.
The Ministry of Education also advised the compulsory use of facemasks at all times for students and teachers in school, especially when in classrooms.
In addition, everyone in schools must uphold a one metre social distancing requirement during class. Teachers are obliged to ensure that the rule is observed by pupils.
Another instruction is the compulsory use of hand sanitisers or soaps for washing the hands of both students and teachers to prioritise good hygiene.
The Ministry also directed that students who are sick with flu-like symptoms or are coughing should be kept home.
Additionally, there will be no change to the working hours for all teachers unless another notice supersedes that.
For secondary schools, the Ministry has instructed that classes 9, 10 and 11 will continue their programmes.
Years 12 and 13 will also continue their programmes in preparations for their upcoming exams: the Samoa School Certificate and Samoa School Leaving Certificate.
Already published exam schedules will be unaffected by the new changes unless the Ministry advises otherwise.
But parents and students are advised to check the M.E.S.C. website for the exams timetable to ensure they are familiar with their schedules.