The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar has welcomed all teachers that are returning to school today.

Schools closed on 20 March 2020 immediately after the first COVID-19 case was identified in Fiji. A total of 13,364 teachers today are back in school after three months, the longest in the history of formal education.

Minister Akbar said, “Some of our rural, remote and maritime teachers have returned to their duty stations over the weekend and some may still be making their way back due to transportation schedules. I would like to thank all the hard working teachers who have worked from home and remotely in the last three months to provide education to all the children of Fiji”.

Minister Akbar also commended the teachers for their resilience and preparedness to deal with the devastation of TC Harold and the uncertainties of the pandemic.

“ I would like to thank the School Heads and Management who have worked together for the last few weeks in COVID proofing their schools and for creating awareness and information dissemination. School Heads are reminded to ensure that all classrooms are well ventilated and all hygiene practices are in place.

All schools must ensure that there are enough water tanks to cater for hand washing and hygiene needs of all the students especially during recess and lunch breaks.

Large schools which have had water issues in the past must work earnestly towards rectifying it before all students return to school.”

Minister Akbar reiterated to School Heads that the worksheets were supplementary resources only and teachers should not pressure any student to submit completed worksheets upon their return to school. The Minister strongly reiterates not to schedule any form of assessment upon the resumption of schools.

“I know my teachers are aware of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the students and they will provide the much needed psycho-social support to assist the children in dealing with this,” said Minister Akbar.

All heads of schools, management, parents and guardians are urged to make the effort in ensuring that students make a smooth transition to Term 2.

Minister Akbar wishes all teachers a wonderful and successful Term 2.

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