A remote conference was held for Principals of the Lyceums and Technical Schools, as well as members of the school management team.

The aim of the teleconference was to educate and inform the executives of the above-mentioned educational systems of the health protocols which will be implemented as of Monday, May 11th as students return back to school. The presentation was carried out by Dr Zoe-Dorothea Pana, Lecturer in Pediatrics at the European University Cyprus and member of the Advisory committee to the Ministry of Health on COVID-19. Additional members of the Advisory Committee also participated in the teleconference, in order to answer questions and address concerns by the participants. The teleconference was greeted by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, Mr. Prodromos Prodromou.

At the beginning of the conference, the Minister thanked everyone for their participation and expressed his gratitudeto the members of the Advisory Committee for their valuable services, and despite the difficulties our country faces theywork voluntarily and are an example of exemplary behavior.

He stressed that all decisions made by the Government in all areas, including the field of education, have been taken with the consent and advice of the experts, who throughout this journey have supported and kept the Government informed. The Minister reiterated that the clarifications given by the President of the Republic, state that the decisions have been taken on the basis of the data available to date and that the implementation of these decisions is subject to the conditions that will apply at the time of implementation. He also said that students currently in their third year of Lyceum and the third year of the Technical Schools will return to schools next Monday, with implementation and execution of Health Protocols to ensure a safe return. The necessary Health Protocols have been prepared for the Directorates and school teachers, but also for the students. Relevant instructions and guidelines will also be given to both parents and guardians. All of the above is generated with the guidance of the Ministry of Health: Medical Advisory Committee.  He stressed that he understands the concern and unease currently in the air. With the exemplary return to our routine, however, with the faithful and strict application of the new instructions given, we will be able to cope as a society. As we have done in the past. He has also referred to the 20,000 free COVID-19 sample tests available for teachers and students, disinfection of school grounds, guidelines and signs of circulation, supply of antiseptic fluids and the creation of isolation rooms if deemed necessary. At the same time, he added that distance learning continues to be strengthened and is a conquest for the public school. Dr. Pana then presented an introduction, useful, informative material about COVID-19 disease, as well as the epidemiological data of Cyprus with emphasis on children. In her presentation, she mentioned the general recommendations for personal protection and protective measures, while emphasizing the special recommendations concerning the school environment and the health protocols that will be implemented as of Monday. During the teleconference, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and bring forward any queries they may have. These were then resolved by Dr. Pana, as well as other members of the Scientific Committee who participated in the teleconference.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth considers it important to inform and familiarize teachers with health guidelines and therefore plans a series of distance training – informational meetings with scientists and all education executives, in order to convey all useful and necessary information. Most importantly to resolve any questions regarding protocols and handling of COVID-19 disease in schools.

The original article was written by the Press Information Office of Cyprus and can be found here.