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A dozen of primary schools, 8 colleges closed

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Some 12 primary schools out of 297 and eight colleges out of 164 are closed this Monday due to cases of COVID-19 detected among staffs or students

The situation, described as “worrying” by the Mauritius Head Teachers Association, comes one week after the start of the school year. 

The Ministry of Education said it is doing its best to ensure the protection of children and the “continuity of learning”, by avoiding the closure of all schools.

“We are abiding by the protocols established by the High-Level Committee and the Ministry of Health”l’Express reported a spokesperson as saying.

The protocol is such: “As soon as we are informed of a positive case, we inform the Ministry of Health; the child is directed to the school’s isolation room, the other students are asked to return home, the school is disinfected and the students are then asked to return, except those who have been in direct contact with the positive case.”

Meanwhile, anger is said to be brewing among parents, teachers and students, who complain about the lack of communication from the Ministry of Education. Sooryadanand Meetooa, president of the Education Officers’ Union, said the situation is becoming “increasingly disturbing” with new cases being detected in schools every day – he called to close the schools for two weeks. 

“If there were only two months left before the exams, it would have been a different scenario. We have enough time to close the schools for two weeks and wait for things to settle down.”

He also called upon the responsibility of parents to act according to the situation: “I know a lot of parents are not sending their children to school because they care about their health. We should not be playing with people’s lives”, Meetooa said.

Some of the schools that are closed are: D. Basant Rai Government School in La Rosa, Lorette de Quatre-Bornes (LCQB), Lorette de Port-Louis (LCPL), Hindu Girls, Mauritius College (girls and boys departments), among others. 

Other schools, including Jean Lebrun Government School, H. Ramnarain Government School, Vallée-Des-Prêtres Government School and the Special Education Needs Schools, Islamic Cultural School as well as pre-primary schools, which are in the ‘Red Zone’, remain closed until further notice. The MITD center in Suriname is also closed.

Defi Media cited Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun as stating that “abolishing physical and face-to-face classes is not an option.” 

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