A number of schools have opened today, welcoming children to their corridors and classrooms for the first time in nearly seven months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Malta.
However, today isn’t the back-to-school many are used to with children and parents having to wear face masks, locate their drop-off zone and queue accordingly, all of which are just some of the new health and safety measures implemented as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
In fact, some students will return to school later than planned following last-minute government and union discussions which ended up them delaying the reopening of state and religious schools.
While state schools look on, private schools, including Chiswick House School, are eager to get going and have implemented strict procedures to ensure a smooth-sailing semester.
From school buses to parent drop-offs, everything is accounted for with a school representative guiding and ushering people in the right direction in an attempt to keep social distancing measures and ensure a staggered approach.
Verdala International School has been open since 9th September and has settled into a comfortable rhythm with a holistic understanding of the risks at hand and what has to be done to mitigate them.
“Before we started everybody was anxious and we just did our best being reassuring everybody by sharing our protocols,” said Head of School at Verdala International, Totty Aris.
“We were very transparent and also very prepared to do the best we can.”
“We understood we were setting the benchmark for other schools. That’s why we took this responsibility very seriously to ensure that we had the absolute best circumstances available to bring students back on campus,” a teacher said.
Parents and custodians of children are also cautiously optimistic about the reopening of schools, claiming to be well-informed about the procedures in place and placing their trust in schools and teachers to take care and educate their children during these unusual times.
“We were a bit concerned, especially recently when there were a ton of cases rising, we were thinking of switching to virtual learning which is going to be very hard,” a mum said.
“But Chiswick prepared us well and communicated with us during the summer months and I feel really safe sending them.”
However, there is the possibility that the return to in-person education could be short-lived as one COVID-19 infection in an educational institution could spell the return to online-learning indefinitely.
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