Only subject-teaching during school hours from today
- Extra-curricular or co-curricular activities after school
- Provincial Education Secretaries to plan transport
By Buddhika Samaraweera
With all Government and Government-approved private schools set to conduct on-site teaching from 7.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on weekdays from today onwards, the Ministry of Education has instructed school principals to conduct only subject matter-related teaching activities during school hours, and not extra-curricular or co-curricular activities.
An official of the Education Ministry, when contacted by The Morning, said that the regional education authorities including principals have been instructed by the Ministry to use school time during the next three months only for subject matter teaching activities and to carry out co-curricular and extra-curricular activities outside school hours, and to limit the events held in schools.
Most schools were in operation only three days a week until last week due to the fuel shortage and lack of transportation facilities.
The official also said that a discussion was held between Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Education Ministry Secretary Nihal Ranasinghe, Education Ministry officials, and Provincial Education Secretaries, during which the future operation of schools was discussed at length.
Taking into account the opinions of all parties present at the said discussion, the official said that the Ministry decided to operate Government and Government approved private schools as usual from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on all five days of the week from today.
Premajayantha has also instructed the Provincial Education Secretaries to prepare a suitable transport programme for the principals, teachers, non-academic staff, and students in areas where it is still difficult to procure transportation facilities. In addition, the relevant authorities have been instructed to provide appropriate relief for teachers and students who are facing further transportation difficulties during the week starting today.
In late June, the Education Ministry decided not to operate schools in Colombo and other main cities in the Western Province, as well as those in other provinces, while the education officials including Zonal Directors of Education and Principals had been given permission to continue in-person teaching activities at schools, where the students, teachers, and principals had not been not affected by prevailing transportation issues. After some time, the Ministry had decided to operate schools only three days a week, considering the fuel shortage and transportation issues faced by the teachers and students.