Schools in Lebanon Still Want Exams to Take Place Despite Spread of Coronavirus

Over the last few months, revolution, road-closures, weather problems, and now the dreaded Coronavirus -or as it’s officially now known, COVID-19- have stopped schools and universities in their tracks.

You can say that these last few months could be the most unfortunate time for people looking to graduate, do their thesis, or take their state examinations.

A lot of people are thinking that the ministry should just extend or even shorten the academic year.

Student Taking an Exam
Via Lebanon24

However, an adviser for the Ministry of Education, Albert Chamoun, told the Lebanese radio show Sawt Lubnan that it is too early to think about these measures.

He added that, among schools and universities, there is an “insistence on going on with the examinations.”

Chamoun explained that the ministry is waiting for a meeting between the General Manager of the ministry and the principals of the schools.

In this meeting, they will be discussing the many issues that have kept the schools from being able to go on with the academic year.

Worker disinfecting a school's classroom
Via The Daily Star

A decision has recently taken place to postpone classes till March 14th, meaning that schools and universities will have to wait at least another week before they can go on with examinations.

This decision has also been found to extend to many other public spaces such as gyms, nightclubs, sports clubs and scout activities, cinemas, theaters, and the suspension of sporting events until the end of march.

Despite all the hurdles and unrest, schools and universities are growing impatient because of the number of crises happening all within the span of a few months.

However, given that the virus spreads through crowds, many people think that examinations can wait a little bit for the virus to phase out.

Two people wearing masks to protect from Coronavirus
Via Reuters

Despite the recent announcement of the government that they are no longer able to contain the spread of the virus, there is some good news: there is a possibility that the virus wanes in warm weather.

As Dr. Gregory Gray of Duke University’s Global Health Institute Division of Infectious Diseases said to CBC News:  “We’ve routinely seen coronaviruses often wane during summer months as buildings have more air circulation, [people] tend to congregate less, and people are more exposed to UV light which can kill viruses.”

A school girl wearing a mask to protect herself from infection
Via Hussam Chbaro/Anadolu Agency

However, according to the Center For Disease Control in the US: “At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 [the illness caused by the coronavirus] will decrease when the weather becomes warmer. 

There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.”

Earlier this week, Lebanon’s Education Minister issued a circular of new directives for the academic institutions and their directors to abide by in order to prevent the virus’ transmission once classes resume.

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