The Ministry of Education decided that, at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, school attendance is optional, as long as students follow classes remotely.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Education has issued a strict health protocol to ensure the safety of students when they go back to school.
The health protocol was included in a 60-page notice Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi sent on August 28 to school staff across Morocco, including directors, inspectors, and teachers.
The protocol is divided into five main parts. The first part includes measures that parents and schools must take before the start of the school day.
Before sending their children to school, parents must measure their temperature. If the temperature is too high or if the students display COVID-19 symptoms, parents should not send them to school.
If parents suspect a COVID-19 infection, they should notify health authorities through the phone number 141, as well as their child’s school.
Meanwhile, every school must appoint one of the administrative staff to be responsible for implementing the health protocol and coordinating between stakeholders.
Schools should also organize a coordination meeting to divide tasks relating to the health protocol, at least one week prior to the start of the school year, scheduled for September 7.
The Ministry of Education’s notice gives the possibility of remote work for school staff suffering from chronic illnesses or living with people who are at high risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.
The notice also urges schools to put in place a system for communication with students to keep them updated on any new decisions.
Regular school days
The second part of the health protocol includes a series of safety measures for students before they enter their school.
According to the ministry’s directives, students must stand in two rows in front of schools, while respecting a safety distance of one meter.
Before entering, students have to clean their hands with a hydroalcoholic disinfectant and their shoe soles in water containers.
The ministry also called on parents to avoid gathering in front of schools when bringing their children or waiting for them to get out after class.
The third part of the health protocol mainly concerns social distancing measures inside the school. According to the instructions, students must stay at a distance of one meter from each other throughout the whole school day—in classrooms and sports fields, and during recess.
The ministry recommends a safety distance higher than one meter for preschool students.
School buses and cafeterias
The fourth chapter of the health protocol concerns school buses. Students must respect social distancing inside the buses and the vehicles should not exceed 50% of their seat capacity.
Inside the vehicles, all students must wear face masks, including those who did not yet reach the fifth year of primary school, which are not obliged to wear masks during classes.
School staff must measure the temperature of students before they enter the buses and disinfection operations should take place regularly before and after every trip.
The fifth and final section of the health protocol includes measures to be taken in school cafeterias.
Schools must ensure that their suppliers respect safety measures when transporting food products. They should also guarantee regular disinfection operations in kitchens.
Cooks and other workers in the cafeteria must wear face masks, gloves, and head caps at all times and regularly change them.
Schools must also equip cafeterias with soap, paper towels, and disinfectants. Finally, they have to extend the cafeterias’ opening hours to avoid crowding during lunch breaks.