Education authorities must immediately publish clear guidelines on the reopening of schools ahead of the new academic year, the Nationalist Party has said.

Most pupils return to their classrooms at the end of September and the government is due to meet with stakeholders early next month to plan the way forward.

However, the PN said that was too late. 

"Educators, students and parents need to have peace of mind and time to adjust or consult new guidelines, that is why plans must be published now, rather than later," PN shadow minister Clyde Puli told a news conference.

 “We are appealing to the government to look into every situation, if cases increase or decrease or what happens if there are students and educators not vaccinated."

When asked what his party proposes, he said the PN's main proposal is to reopen all schools with a plan that follows scientific evidence-based policies.

“We have nearly two years of experience, and that means that coming up with a good detailed plan for our educators should not be as difficult as when we were first hit by the pandemic,” Puli said.

He said that the government should avoid future strikes within the education sector, which were a result of a lack of consultation amongst stakeholders and educators.

PN election candidate, Clifford Zahra Fenech posed a number of questions which educators and students have been asking.

"Will sixth form students return to a hybrid system, if so will the schools have a set number of who can attend? Will we continue a 'bubble' system?", were some of the few questions he addressed. 

Times of Malta has been informed that post-secondary students are expected to be allowed back in to lecture halls because most are now vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, the education authorities are likely to keep strict COVID-19 measures in place, such as bubbles and mask-wearing. 

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