The health authorities are encouraging online teaching and learning at post-secondary schools to reduce contact when schools re-open later in September. 

In the second set of guidelines issued on Tuesday – those for kindergarten were published earlier – the health authorities said online teaching and learning should either be complementary to class teaching or “actually replace contact teaching”. 

This would be done to reduce class size as much as possible and to keep staff and students’ mobility and contact on campus to a minimum. 

Apart from ensuring a space of 1.5 metres per pupil, in the case of the older students attending post-secondary schools, the health authorities are also suggesting a system where teachers deliver lessons to half the class while the other half follows online from another classroom. 

The health authorities also revealed that in Malta, 3.1% of COVID-19 positive cases were aged between 16 to 18.

“Younger persons often have mild or asymptomatic illness meaning that an infection can go undetected or undiagnosed since they are less likely to be tested. When infected, however, transmission amongst adolescents follows that of young adults and not of younger children,” they said.

“A consideration of the national context and current level of community spread is paramount.”

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All students and educators must wear masks at all times, with a distance of two metres to be kept when in common areas. The health authorities suggest common rooms are closed off and, if opened, they should limit the number of students allowed inside. 

The health authorities recommended that students with “special education needs” should be given priority. 

“Active consideration must be given to those students with special education needs who were already disadvantaged in a non-COVID-19 scenario and whose achievements may have already been seriously compromised with school closure in the last four months of the 2019/2020 academic year.”

The guidelines can be accessed here.

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