The Safety Committee of Teachers, Students and Parents in Sri Lanka is holding an open webinar discussion on Thursday January 7 at 7p.m. [Sri Lankan time] on “How to fight the reopening of schools under unsafe conditions.”
President Gotabaya Rajapakse’s government has announced that Sri Lanka’s entire school system will reopen on January 11, even as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country and internationally.
Medical experts have pointed out that the opening of schools and factories has been a major factor in the spread of the coronavirus, and that children are similarly at risk as adults from this life-threatening disease.
Even the limited PCR testing conducted in Sri Lanka has revealed that the number of infections rose sharply in the month when all schools, apart from those in the Western Province, were open for the final term from October 23.
All schools, including pre-schools, primary schools and day care centres, will reopen on January 11, under even more dangerous conditions than in October. A new, more infectious strain of the virus, which originated in Britain, has now spread to the European continent and throughout many other countries. Epidemiologists have warned that it could enter Sri Lanka.
Governments around the world have ignored basic scientific truths and placed the profit interests of a handful of capitalists above human lives. The Rajapakse government opened airports for tourists on December 29, and has opened factories under unsafe conditions, calling on employees to return to work.
Reopening schools under these conditions is like pushing teachers and students into a blazing fire. The public is being endangered by COVID-19, despite the discovery of scientifically-proven vaccines.
The urgent action needed to save lives, and to secure the right to education, against the criminal policies of the Rajapakse government, will be discussed at the webinar. We invite teachers, students and parents to register and actively participate to this vital event.