Many international schools have sent advisories to their students and parents asking that the management be alerted if any family member recently visited countries where cases of COVID-19 are prevalent. This includes China, South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran.
Some schools have also asked students to not travel to these countries. The Canadian International School (CIS), for instance, sent a circular on Friday stating that all families must be discouraged to travel to affected countries during the spring break in April. The circular stated those returning from these countries may face a 14-day quarantine.
This means that Grade 10 and 12 students may have to miss out on their IGCSE and IB examinations that begin in May. According to the circular, there will be no alternative arrangement to appear for the exams, and students may not receive a final grade for the IGCSE exams.
“Any family that does travel and return from Korea, Iran or Italy over the break, we ask that you voluntarily inform us of your travel. We need to ensure the safety of all our students, teachers and families. We also urge families to seriously consider not travelling to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan,” said the school management in a statement.
Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, CIS, said, “In a situation where various countries are closing their borders, we want to be safe and mindful of not making any non-essential travel to countries that have a large outbreak of COVID-19.”
Inventure Academy, too, has started taking similar steps as a safety precaution. Nooraine Fazal, Chief Executive Officer at Inventure Academy, said that they have held a series of awareness programmes in the school and have also sent an advisory. “We have asked parents to inform us of their travel plans and also are vigilant on hygiene, and are conducting awareness sessions for our students,” she said.
Aloysius D'Mello, principal of Greenwood High, said that they are not allowing their students from Thailand, Malaysia and Korea to go home for their spring break. “We have even told families that they need to alert us if any member travels to any of these countries. If students have a cough and cold, we are telling them not to come for classes,” he said.