What is the decision by the Government of Curacao with regard to the closure of schools in relation to coronavirus?

On March 15, 2020, the Government of Curaçao has decided the following:

  • All schools will close partially for 1 week (5 workdays) starting Tuesday March 17 till Monday March 23, 2020 as a precautionary measure.
  • This measure applies to all schools from preschools on to high schools, including private schools. The measure does not apply to institutions of higher education which are encouraged to take the necessary precautions. Preschools which would like to discuss exceptions on the measure, must consult with the Ministry of Education.
  • The risk of contamination for coronavirus is currently still very low and there is no widespread contamination. Schools have been closed only as a precautionary measure and to allow for time to prepare and increase safety and hygiene protocols, but there has been no increase in the risk of contamination in schools.
  • Therefore, the government has decided on a partial closure. Groups and students who have to prepare for EFO tests (group 8) or exams in secondary schools are excluded from the decision in order to prevent them from falling behind and consequently suffering disproportional consequences in the long term. The risk of contamination by the virus in Curacao is not alarming, so the current situation does not require a full shutdown of schools.
  • School officials and teachers must remain available throughout the school closure period. This means that certain tasks will continue in an adapted form to minimize the impact on education. Schools and teachers will use the time to be better prepared for all scenarios. All personnel must be available and they will receive instructions from the school principal, which could include the instruction to be present at school (e.g. for meetings for preparation and evaluation).
  • This school closure measure will be evaluated on Thursday March 19, 2020. If necessary the Government of Curacao will announce a new decision based on the latest developments and the necessity to continue with or to extend the measures.

Why has the government closed schools as from Tuesday for students?

Currently the risk of contamination for coronavirus is low and there is no widespread contamination. Based on this fact, the government opted for a planned partial closure starting Tuesday march 17, 2020 except for groups who need to do the EFO exam (Group 8) or groups in secondary school who need to do tests or exams.The decisions is a measure of precaution to create time and space by reducing the agglomeration of students and persons so that schools are better prepared and they can increase their hygiene measures. It is important that school personnel and students attend school on Monday March 16 to learn about the latest information and preparation.

Why are schools closing partially and not for all classes?

The decision to close schools was precautionary and to allow for better preparation of schools with regards to Coronavirus. Classes and/or preparation for students that need to take their final examination or tests in primary school (Group 8) or secondary school will continue with the necessary precautionary measures, to minimize the disproportionate impact on the educational career of these students for the longer term. The decision is a measure of precaution to create time and space by reducing the agglomeration of students and persons so that schools are better prepared and they can increase their hygiene measures.

What does the school closure mean for school boards and schoolteachers?

The decision to close schools is a precautionary measure but the situation is not alarming at this moment. The risk of contamination of the virus has not increased drastically. School officials and teachers must remain available throughout the school closure period. This means that certain tasks will continue in an adapted form to facilitate a minimal impact on education. Schools and teachers will use the time to be better prepared for all scenarios. All school officials and teachers will be instructed by their respective school boards regarding availability and activities during the school closure and could be required to be physically available on school premises (for example for preparation or evaluation meetings).

What happens after the one-week closure?

This school closure measure will be evaluated on Thursday March 19, 2020. If necessary the Government of Curacao will announce new decisions based on the latest developments and the necessity to continue with or to extend the measures.

For more information you can contact the government via:

WhatsApp 5640440
Email: owcs.communicatie@gobiernu.cw
Follow the Facebook of the Government of Curacao
Website: www.gobiernu.cw.

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