COVID-19: Schools reopening on May 24 will depend on pandemic situation – Dr Fong

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Students at the Suva bus station. Picture: FT FILE

The reopening of schools in Fiji will depend entirely on the island nation’s COVID-19 situation.

Permanent secretary of the country’s Health Ministry, Dr James Fong, said they were – in consultation with the Ministry of Education – considering reopening the schools on May 24.

However, he said that judgement depended entirely on the country’s situation with the pandemic at that time.

“Still, I want parents and students watching (the daily COVID-19 press briefing) to know that getting our children back in classrooms is an urgent priority for the ministry,” Dr Fong said.

“Until such time, parents must keep their children at home.

“Do not bring them shopping, do not send them out with friends. Please, keep them at home.”

Dr Fong also said: “As we shift into the next phase of containment, we are prioritising non-school isolation facilities so that – once it’s safe – we’re ready to resume classes.”

“Our students are currently learning from home, which has to suffice for now.

“But there is a proven benefit to in-person learning, and every day we delay our students’ return to classes risks long-term harm to our human capital.”