Ministry of Education announced yesterday that high schools including private and monastic education schools nationwide will be closed as from 27 August, 2020 after some students and teachers tested positive for COVID-19. The decision came after the new clusters of the coronavirus cases which are believed to locally transmitted have been identified in recent days. Following a sudden surge in cases of coronavirus in Rakhine State, the Union Government has also imposed the Stay-At-Home order on the whole state in attempts to prevent the outbreak. The Education Ministry’s decision to close schools has been welcomed by parents. The decision is made with consideration given public health needs and whether the COVID-19 measures taken by public and parents nationwide are enough to prevent against the virus amidst the COVID-19.
We are committed to offering in-person learning as long as it’s sustainable. It is important that school children do not drift away from learning. The education of a country should not be stopped and children might lose their enthusiasm for education when they are away from classrooms for a long time. Because, long-term closures of classrooms would have negative impacts on the country. Hence, we all have a moral duty to get all children back into schools once we contain the coronavirus infection in our country. When it comes to closing schools, the government has attached the top priority not only to the health of children but also teachers and adults work in schools, parents and more. They are all being put at risk by keeping schools open in this situation of crisis with locally transmitted cases.
We have witnessed that China and South Korea closed all their schools, and they’re seeing a significant flattening of the curve. While schools are closed, the public including teachers and parents are highly encouraged and advised to follow the health guidelines such as social distancing measures, wearing face masks, washing hands in efforts to safely send our children back to their classrooms as soon as possible. Safety depends on us when reopening schools. This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.