Schools will simply close down and all exams cancelled in any future health epidemic similar to the measles outbreak of last November and December 2019.
There is no Plan B to be set for major exams as far as the Education Minister, Loau Keneti Sio, is concerned, when it comes to any deadly disease that kills children.
Key end of year exams like the SSLC and SSC were cancelled and schools closed early for health safety reasons when the measles virus turned viral.
“Health epidemics will happen and if the children are directly at risk there are no Plan B options for exams other than what was taken at the end of the year,” Loau firmly declared.
The measles outbreak ended the 2019 school year in disarray.
The Minister is adamant that the best option is now taken for compulsory immunisation for all the children and that the emphasis is on the Ministry of Health.
All students from pre-school level up to college are now required to produce vaccination cards to be accepted into the classrooms.
“This is the option taken to ensure a student is protected and will not spread any contagious virus inside the classroom to other children,” assured the Minister.
Loau added more clarifications to the misinformed stink raised over the $40 tala parents were supposed to fork out for a vaccination card.
One of the early angry outbursts over the misunderstanding is the added financial burden on parents with more than one child in school.
“Vaccination cards are free except for children who are currently undergoing injections regime charged with $40 if they lose their records booklet.
“This is the same booklet parents must produce for 5 year olds to be accepted into the classrooms.
“ Parents, however, will have to collect vaccination cards from the Health Ministry for 6 year olds and upwards without having to pay additional charges.”
Loau insisted that other than the misunderstanding over the card costs, the anticipated start of the school year for 2020 is flowing smoothly.
Results for the SSLC exam sat last year are expected to be out next week.
Students who were out of the country and those who caught the measles virus and missed out of the exam, will be assessed based on internal assessments and the results from other internal tests sat during the school year.
More than 2000 students sat the exam but it is unclear how many missed out.