I am writing to you as, at long last, we are coming near to the time when ESM can open again. It has been a protracted summer, but I hope all of our families have been able to spend some valuable time together over Naadam and the Holidays.
The present announcements from the Emergency Committee and the Ministry of Education stipulate a partial Schools’ opening for the month of September, starting 1st September. Alongside other restrictions, attendance will be limited for any Students to 3 days per week for a maximum of 4 hours (6 Lessons) daily with no circulation in School and maximum classes of 20.
We have written to the Emergency Committee requesting that ESM could open from 13 August to run catch-up classes for Students, ahead of the September start and also to the Minister of Education seeking a meeting to discuss the restrictions: we have received no reply to either of these letters, sent by hand over a week ago.
With the announcement already made that there will effectively be no School for ten weeks over the Winter period and with considerable gaps left in the education of children at all levels over the Academic Year 2019-2020, it is in our view essential that Schools like ESM (and many others) are able to function to the best of their ability. Video, Zoom and TV Lessons have proved a useful On-line dimension to learning, but are in no way a substitute for classroom teaching.
We anticipate further clarification of how September is allowed to work at ESM and I know that all of us: Parents, Teachers – and especially our Students – are impatient to embark on a strong academic and all-round year. Not least to celebrate ten years of ESM.
It is of course understood that the Government (indeed all Governments) has a very delicate balance to make between pandemic management and keeping the Country running; the Mongolia Government deserves, of course, our thanks for all its decisive actions over the last six months. Amidst all the uncertainties, ESM is raring to go and to welcome your sons and daughters as they resume their education.
I will write again with more specific guidance to Parents over the next ten days.