All schools islandwide will be shutting their doors as of Friday for one week, as per the decision taken on Wednesday by the Education Ministry in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak, as cases spiralled to six in government-controlled areas.
In consultation with the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Education announced a series of measures that will affect the island’s education system in the coming period.
In its announcement, the Education Minsitry said that all schools in the Nicosia district, which had already suspended operations on Wednesday, would remain closed until Friday March 20.
Additionally, the Ministry moved to order the closure of all schools on the island, including private and public schools and schools of all levels, from Friday until March 20.
The delay for the closure of all schools was so that parents may move to make any arrangements necessary on Thursday.
Additionally, the Education Ministry said it will be suspending all Ministry education programs, conducted in the afternoon and at night, as well as all special needs schools and after school tutoring centers, again in effect as of Friday.
The Ministry also ordered that all universities, private and public, across Cyprus suspend operations until March 22.
The Education Ministry stressed that the measures will be taken for preventative reasons, as there has been no evidence of coronavirus infections in educational centers so far.
It added that in cooperation with Deputy Ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, it was looking into the possibility of providing distance learning classes through online educational tools, particularly for secondary school graduates currently preparing for their end-of-year Pancyprian examinations.
The Education Ministry said it is also examining the possibility of extending the school term in line with relevant regulations in place to make up for the teaching time that is to be lost.
Additionally, it said it was examining along with labour organizations the possibility of providing assistance to working mothers in the morning when their children would normally have been in school.