Head teachers learn more about face masks guidelines | 13 July 2020
To ensure that all schools are well-prepared and all teachers are familiar with the guidelines put in place by the department of health regarding the mandatory wearing of face masks by pupils, the education and health departments have organised a meeting to raise the awareness of head teachers.
The meeting which brought together head teachers of both primary and secondary schools on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue took place on Friday at Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (Site) auditorium, Mont Fleuri.
While it became compulsory on Wednesday July 8 for all members of the public to wear a face mask prior to boarding all public transport, schools and schoolchildren have been given another week to better prepare themselves. For them the measure will come into force on Wednesday July 15.
“The aim of the meeting was to explain to the head teachers how to use these face masks in areas where social distancing cannot be practiced. We have used the guidelines that the department of health has given to develop our own guidelines and apply those to the schools,” said Brigitte Labonte, school health promotion coordinator.
She added that during the meeting head teachers learned about the different types of face masks which are more appropriate.
“Face masks must be up to our standard and must not have any inappropriate slogans on them and must be disposed of in a proper manner when taken off,” Ms Labonte noted.
She further added that if pupils want to put on their masks at school they can but it is not advisable as they cannot spend a whole day in the mask without it getting dirty.
Rita Jean, the nurse responsible for infections and control within the department of health, was present at the meeting and she showed the head teachers the proper way to put on and remove the masks as well as how to put them away.
She also noted that students should not share face masks and that masks should not be worn while doing physical activities.
School for the Exceptional Child head teacher Heidi Francourt noted that her students too will have to learn how to use face masks.
“We will use our dedicated funds to provide them with face masks if they cannot obtain one,” she said, adding that due to social distancing on buses students were coming to school on specific days which means that with this new regulation more students will be able to attend their daily classes.
As for Mirena Medor, head teacher of Point Larue primary school, she noted that the meeting was important as they have obtained the necessary information, not only relating to them but to staff, parents and students as well on how best to carry out and follow the guidelines related to wearing of face masks.
She added that the department of education is doing its best but it needs the support and cooperation of parents and students.