COVID-19 school measures cost government €30 million

The added cash was spent to ensure transport accessibility and virus checks in schools

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana (left) together with Education Minister Justyne Caruana (right) addressed a press conference revealing the investment earlier today.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana (left) together with Education Minister Justyne Caruana (right) addressed a press conference revealing the investment earlier today.

School measures tackling COVID-19 cost government an additional €30 million throughout the scholastic year, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana confirmed this morning.

During a press conference at the Żabbar Primary School, Caruana revealed that the €30 million was spent primarily on transport accessibility to make sure students don’t congregate on school buses.

He added that the expenditure also covered all equipment allowing schools to carry out regular temperature and other virus-related checks, including supervision to ensure social distancing.

“While we looked to tackle jobs in other expenses, through this we’re looking at the future of our children,” he said.

Education Minister Justyne Caruana, also present, mentioned how a working group was created together with experts and unions to understand what’s needed in schools for children to continue their education.

“The next step is to continue encouraging children to attend school. From the government’s side we’re doing all the necessary investments, but who has no need to remain at home should be going to school,” she said.

School absenteeism has been on the rise throughout the scholastic year, with 11.5% of students failing to attend school on Monday with proper justification. This figure reached a worrying 45.19% of Virtual School students, with 216 students from a cohort of 478 failing to attend online lessons.

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