Gibraltar announces students go ‘back to school’ in phased return from May 26

Children Having Panic Attacks Meeting Friends After Lockdown. CREDIT: Shutterstock

Gibraltar’s Minister of Education Gilbert Licudi has revealed a phased plan for students to return to school from May 26, as restrictions on the Rock continue to be eased.

THANKS to the number of Covid-19 cases now reduced to just three, some year groups can return to the classroom by May 26, confirmed Licudi. Most schools on the Rock have been closed since the end of March, apart from a handful for key workers’ children that needed childcare supervision. However, this service will come to an end on May 22, just before schools reopen.

“Children who are at a critical stage of their learning journey are to be brought back first,” stated Licudi. He plans a phased return to school, with lower primary students returning to the classroom first, followed by a staggered return of upper primary year groups. “They will be split into two groups with half attending for two hours in the morning, and the other half for two hours in the afternoon,” he confirmed.

Return to school for those students aged 11+ has yet to be decided. However, Licudi pointed out that “it was simply not possible to bring all children back to school and that the majority will remain at home,” supported by home learning.

Schools are also expected to introduce staggered entry and exit to avoid overcrowding, as well as more frequent cleaning to reduce the risk of Covid-19 contagion among students and staff. However, the finer details, such as classroom sizes and number of students per class, including how to maintain social distancing measures during breaks/lunchtimes, have yet to be decided, he added.

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Pepi Sappal

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