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COVID-19: School holidays in Fiji extended for another two weeks, Civil servants to work from home
4:48 pm GMT+12, 31/03/2020, Fiji

With the control measures still in place for COVID-19, Fiji's Ministry of Education has announced that schools will remain closed for another two weeks, until 17 April 2020.
 
The Ministry will closely monitor the situation and advise on the school resumption date.
 
Education Minister Rosy Akbar has stated that the safety and well-being of children, teachers and their families are paramount and cannot be put at undue risk. The Ministry of Education will take necessary steps to ensure the quality of student’s education will not be compromised when schools commence.
 
The Ministry will realign the school terms, reassess the curriculum and reschedule examinations. Meanwhile, the Student Free Days Programme (SFD) for teachers has been temporarily suspended for term two.  
 
The Ministry requests that all children be kept at home as much as possible as the Fijian public continues to practice physical distancing to prevent the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. During this period, students will still not be allowed to use the government subsidised blue bus cards.
 
Akbar also reiterated the imperative role parents and guardians play in inculcating good values and virtues and honing lifelong skills in their children.  She also emphasised the need for parents to instruct their children on the importance of handwashing with soap and water on a regular basis.  
 
The Ministry will be releasing a set of planned supplementary activities through our Schools Broadcasting Unit as well as our official website, and social media page. The Ministry encourages people to share this information widely.    
 
Stay safe and stay indoors as much as possible.  
 
Meanwhile, Minister for Civil Service Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has given assurances that civil servants working from home does not mean government services will be reduced in any way.
 
This follows the directive given by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for all non-essential civil servants to work remotely.
 
Sayed-Khaiyum said all permanent secretaries will meet today to discuss how it will be implemented.
 
The Minister said civil servants working from home will have to adhere to certain guidelines which will be rolled out today.
 
“To ensure that within the Civil Service itself that we reduce if we can – as much as possible all face to face events and also bring about that culture of social distancing or physical distancing as we are calling it.”
 
He said  people can still visit the Births, Deaths and Marriage Office, apply for their fishing licenses if it is expiring within this period and can still visit the town and country planning departments.
 
“Of course many ministries that people do work for, for example writing up policies, writing up documents, that does not necessarily mean that they have to sit in their office itself to do it. They can, of course, do it from home.”
 
Sayed-Khaiyum said there are many other instances where civil servants can work from home.

SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/FBC NEWS


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