Rarotonga kids will now have a month off school – the same as those on the Pa Enua.
Melinda Pierre, a working mum with three girls, welcomes the cash support. “This will be a great help for families with children, especially those with very young kids – every bit counts during these trying times.”
She will have to reorganise childcare for her girls. “It’s also about making sure that they are abiding by the Code Yellow rules. The safety of our children and people come first, so I’m happy to accept and follow through with what is required.”
Another mum, Leona Bradford, understood the rationale. “It is a means of taking precaution due to this coronavirus.
“My children are at home making use of the school break, reading, gardening, doing their homework.”
All primary and secondary school students are now expected to stay home until Sunday, April 19, to support physical distancing measures.
The ministerial order extends to childcare and learning facilities for under-5s, as well as the University of South Pacific, the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute and the Theological College. “We’re doing this to keep our tamariki and their families safe from the potential spread of Covid-19,” said Secretary of Health Dr Josephine Aumea Herman. “This is a necessary precautionary measure to keep our kids out of harm’s way.
“Staying home is the best place for people right now.”
The government would consult with public health and education officials before reassessing and determining what happens after this date.
Financial assistance for families affected by school closures is available through the government’s Covid-19 support package.