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Some 693,000 children returned to schools on September 2. The start of the new school year is affected by measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
The first two weeks will be crucial, as Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) stressed.
“This school year will be non-traditional and different, but I believe that we’ll manage it with the measures set by the Public Health Authority, and we’ll be able to launch the full education process after two weeks,” Gröhling said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Three schools open later
Of the total number of school children, some 498,000 returned to primary schools, including more than 59,000 first-graders. Another 196,000 are secondary school students, the Education Ministry informed.
At the same time, altogether 2,074 primary schools, 433 secondary vocational schools, 219 grammar schools, 198 conservatories, and 16 secondary sport schools opened their doors. Children will also attend 525 special schools including those running near the medical facilities.
Only three schools will open later, Gröhling confirmed.
Several measures to follow
The Education Ministry does not plan across-the-board closure of schools, with measures being taken locally.
It has also prepared a manual for schools. One of the rules will be to follow the COVID-19 semaphore warning system, with every stage containing specific measures of what to do if coronavirus is suspected or confirmed.
At the entrance door schools will have to display information under which conditions pupils and the people that accompany them can enter the building.
Children should also bring two documents signed by their parents: a form about their health condition, and the declaration whether children were abroad between August 17 and September 1, or if they went to some mass event in the given period.
All fifth to ninth graders at primary schools and all students of secondary schools have to wear masks in the classroom, while the ministry recommends younger schoolchildren to wear them as well. The masks are compulsory outside the classrooms if children are inside. Also, each child needs to bring two masks to school.
Teachers have to wear masks or can use protective shields.
There are also certain restrictions for PE classes. Pupils will not be allowed to exercise in the gyms until September 20. There are also some limitations for swimming pools and fitness gyms.
There will be a special isolation room in schools if any child shows COVID-19 symptoms.
The Education Ministry recommends giving lectures in one classroom and children not to spend breaks in the corridors.
Read more about the coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia:
- These are the measures currently in place in Slovakia
- How Slovakia prepared for the coronavirus
- Do I have the coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion
- More information about what the coronavirus is and how to protect yourself from the infection (WHO)
- Situation update on EU/EEA and the UK as of March 6 morning
- Q&A: State of emergency declared about coronavirus+
2. Sep 2020 at 12:09 | Compiled by Spectator staff