BY ALEX DADAMU
THE Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Dr. Franco Roddie has stated that the Ministry through an established oversight Committee – the National Disaster Committee Education has been contacting institutions and Authorities in countries where Solomon Islands Students are studying including the Philippines to enquire about the wellbeing and situation of SI Students.
According to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), Permanent Secretary (PS) Dr. Roddie, respective authorities of both institutions and the Government in countries where Solomon Islands Students are studying including the Philippines have put in place ‘Measures’ which will help students not to contract the COVID-19.
The Education Permanent Secretary was responding to questions being asked yesterday on whether the Ministry is looking at evacuating students studying in the Philippines – at the Joint talkback show being headed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) at SIBC in Honiara.
However, Dr. Roddie in response said that institutions being contacted including those in the Philippines has indicated that they are not yet in a position to start sending back regional students.
“Both authorities in the Philippines, the Government, and host Institutions have indicated that there is no need to panic because they have already in place strict measures to help students not to contract the Virus.
“The Education Ministry by way of communicating with the students’ have advised them to practice personal hygiene and good health and to stay indoors,” Dr. Roddie Said.
The Education Ministry PS further states that until such time that the Ministry or the Government are given the advice and instructions by host Universities on the need to start evacuating SI students will then they will proceed to look at ways to extract the students at all cost.
In the meantime, Attorney General Mr. Junior John Muria in addition to Dr. Roddie Statements added that at the moment, the Philippines Government has issued a lockdown for Capital Manila.
“To get the students out at the moment will be difficult because of the complete lockdown of Manila prohibiting travels both in and out of the country.
“We will just have to wait until such time when the Philippines Government will allow the SI Students to be sent home enabling the SI Government and MEHRD to start Evacuation proceedings,” Attorney-General Mr. Muria said.
According to reports from the Philippines Department of Health, of the over 50 Confirmed cases, Five (5) people have been confirmed dead and the number is expected to increase.