Heightened vigilance, physical distancing and hygiene: New normal for educational institutions, child-minders in Seychelles

Heightened vigilance, social and physical distancing and hygiene will be the new normal and principles for all educational institutions, childminders, and daycare centres in Seychelles, a top official said on Thursday.
Minister Jeanne Simeon, who is responsible for education and human resources development, shared his ministry’s COVID-19 action plan as the country prepares to re-open professional centres, daycare, and childminding services on May 11. These institutions closed on March 23, after confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the main island of Mahe.
According to the minister, three different task forces were set up within the ministry to ensure that once educational activities resume including for primary and secondary schools, all measures would have been taken to ensure that the three principles are implemented and observed.
“Institutions opening as of May 11 should have in place the capacity to heighten vigilance, capacity to have the hygiene as per measures from the health authority and they should have the capacity to have optimal social distancing,” said the Principal Secretary for Human Resources Development, Linda Barallon, who is leading the committee looking at professional centres and institutions of higher learning.
As for childminders and daycare services, a sensitisation session was held earlier this week with around 180 such services from the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.
“The health department is making it a must for all child care centres, including all other schools, to learn and put in place the approved measures against the spread of the virus, and if they are not present today and furthermore through our contact with them to impart knowledge on the comprehensive plan, they will not be allowed to re-open their childminding facilities,” said Shirley Choppy, the chief executive of the Institute for Early Childhood Development, the regulatory body for daycare and childminding services.
These services dealing with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will need to follow stringent measures which include a higher level of hygiene, increased monitoring and even an isolation corner to ensure better protection against COVID-19 for the youngest citizens of Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Source: Seychelles News Agency