Several students disappeared from the schooling system during COVID-19, Education Minister Owen Bonnici told Times of Malta, prompting concern the absenteeism problem continued to grow during the pandemic. 

Schools were shut in March as part of efforts to stop the spread of the novel virus, however, some weeks later, a homeschooling system was set up for students to resume their studies.

Despite this, it seems there were students who missed out on lessons, with Bonnici saying they “disappeared” completely from the system. 

“We know who these students are, because teachers follow up. But we need to make sure that, come September, when the schools re-open, we address the problem of absenteeism,” Bonnici told Times of Malta

Though he would not provide any details on what was to be expected come September when schools reopen, the minister said guidelines are already in place for those attending the Skola Sajf summer school programme. 

On this, Bonnici said it was very satisfying seeing children and their parents happy to be back at school. 

The state summer school programme kicked off on Wednesday, two weeks earlier than usual, as part of efforts to help parents, as well as their children, return to normality following the COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year. 

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