Returning to classes, after the annual break, January presented itself as a challenge to Europe’s education system.
Five days after the return, European governments are already debating whether to maintain it Policy of existence With the threat of rotation of the Omigron variant.
Schools reopened Monday in most parts of Europe with surveillance, testing and isolation strategies.. However, from educational institutions, they summarize a general sentiment: “This situation is presented as unsustainable.”
Only inside France, Official data suggest that open school theory could be broken. According to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, 47,453 positive cases among students and 5,631 among adults: teachers, supervisors, staff or restaurant officials. Data indicate about 75,000 students and 3,000 isolated adults.. In total, 9,202 classes have been closed, especially teachers and 28 institutions affected by Govt-19 disease, most of which are schools.
“The school should be reopened even if my struggle is difficult,” the French education minister said. Jean-Michel Blanker. Holder of an approved educational portfolio on TV signal CNews Difficulties of protocol and lack of self-assessment tests.
At United Kingdom The situation is not so different. The British government addressed the issue by returning to the UK with the introduction of compulsory use of masks for middle school students. And prioritize face-to-face classes and online access for students defined by Govt-19.
When the country has an average of 200,000 infections a day, Officials at the English Ministry of Education predict a significant rebound in the number of teachers due to the spread of Omigron in the coming weeks.
The predictions are not good. The British Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, recalled in Parliament that national schools faced an 8% drop in their staffing at the end of last quarter, and that “this is likely to increase with the increasing number of cases and returns to schools. The younger the classroom”. Officials have already called for retired teachers and former teachers to come on occasion in some cases.
With inter-country nuances, face-to-face return algorithms are based on the multiplication of a student’s tests. In France, PCR or antigen for all children in a class once a positive case is found. After giving the result (negative) the student returns to class, then on the 2nd day home self assessment is done, then on the 4th day the certificate of decision of the parents sufficient to stay in school.
Rockingly, the first classes have returned since last Monday Germany. Although each laundromat (state) has the power to determine the form of return, the policy is face-to-face. Health Minister Carl Lauterbach pointed out that the general recommendation for the use of masks in educational institutions is “absolute need.” In Berlin, where classes begin on Monday, students take daily tests for the first week. Each school-age child will be subjected to a three-week test.
But the debate over the rule of open schools has returned to Germany. Lotharbach has repeatedly warned of the dangers of the corona virus in children, which some politicians, including his own ruling coalition, have called “often exaggerated.”
When asked daily by a BILD ministry spokesman about the health official’s statements, he replied that his statements “do not refer only to the closing of schools, but in general.” Conversely, the closure of schools across the country was excluded from other sectors of the new ruling coalition.
A confusing fact among Germans: In the spring of 2021 about 500 children and young people wanted to commit suicide while in prison. Results of a study Essen University Hospital This also worried medical professionals.
In this regard, the Liberal Party’s health expert Christine Assenberg-Duknes, in view of these data, “Sadly confirms that schools should not be closed.”
The Italian government From Mario Tracy He does not want to make concessions. The principle of being. From Rome, Deputy Secretary of Health Pierrelo Celeri reiterated, “A careful assessment, with lengthy comparisons, has drawn up a series of guidelines that will allow the school to resume safely. With masks, spacing and isolation, officials think the situation will be under control.
The stories of different protagonists of the Italian school world are consistent in pointing out a dangerous distance between the rules already written by the government and the definitive possibilities within the institutions. As of Monday, one of the latest security measures Mandatory FFP2 safety mask for staff in contact with students, The latter do not need to wear a mask, at least for the lower class. The remaining students will continue to use surgical masks during class.
New rules for dealing with isolation, in gardens, in the positive presence in the classroom, trigger the suspension of activities for 10 days. When there is only one case in primary school, surveillance is used, which includes a swap on the first and fifth day after the case is discovered, and in two, one goes to distance or distance education for 10 days.
In the Nordic countries, students also come with problems. While Sweden considers the massive test unnecessary, Norway and Denmark suggest it. The Public Health Agency (FHOM, abbreviation for Swedish) considers this to be an ineffective measure and recommends testing only if suspicions or symptoms occur.
This result has already caused Teachers Federation, From Stockholm, express your frustration at the beginning of the school year and insist that those who have no symptoms but are in contact with victims should also be screened.
Swedish authorities insist on encouraging outdoor activities and not crossing the bubbles of different classes of students to prevent infections. Since this week, Sweden, which has been able to stem the tide in other parts of Europe, has registered a record number of epidemics, while hospital admissions are on the rise.
As the Omicron variant evolves, the question in Europe is whether the measures are adequate.To the director of an educational institution in Paris, “It’s already unsustainable. We’ll modify it as much as we can, but it’s going to break.”, He admitted to the Le Parisien newspaper.
Despite the first changes in the health code in schools in France this Friday, a teachers’ union department has called for a strike at the school on January 13. Faced with “uncontrollable” health protocol, The SNUipp-FSU, The majority union in nursery and primary schools must mobilize, considering that the situation is already unmanageable.
The union has already recommended joining other unions. As they explain, the French Minister of Education denies. “The minister does not measure the situation and is happy to keep schools open at all costs.”
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