The Ministry of Education has extended the closure of all schools in Palau for 2 more weeks, as recommended by President Remengesau, the Ministry of Health, and the National Emergency Committee.
The MOE has stated that these measures will reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community in the event of a confirmed case. It will also give the Ministry of Health time to finalize mitigation efforts in response to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Meanwhile, students at home will continue to receive educational instruction and assignments from their teachers through the Internet and other means.
The Ministry of Education, the National Emergency Committee, and the Ministry of Health are working together to monitor COVID-19 and to assess the risk to the community. They will determine the best course of action to ensure the protection of the students, teachers, school staff, and other personnel from the MOE.
According to the Ministry of Education COVID-19 Response: Directive No. 02-20, the MOE is prepared to respond to two possible scenarios.
In the event that no COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Palau, schooling will resume on April 20th, and the school year will be extended to June 12th. The MOE has further stressed that proper respiratory etiquette, hand washing, and regular access to 70% alcohol-based sanitizers will be encouraged in schools. Attendance of students, teachers, and school staff will be monitored daily, and those who feel ill will be required to stay home.
Further measures that the MOE has taken include the cancellation of the 8th Grade Transition Workshop. The MOE has stated that local high school information will be provided to elementary schools to be distributed to 8th graders. Promotions and graduations will be held on June 15-18. Possible dates the MOE has mentioned for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year are August 3rd and August 24th.
However, in the event that a COVID-19 case is confirmed prior to the end of the school year, the schools will remain closed. The remainder of the school year 2019-2020, in addition to all statewide assessments and the 8th Grade Transition Workshop, will be canceled, as will school graduation and promotion ceremonies. Student grades will be computed based on the 3 completed quarters. The MOE has stated that, should a COVID-19 case be confirmed, the dates for the 2020-2021 school year will be determined at a later time.