All primary and secondary schools, special schools and kindergartens will remain open despite the lockdown that has been imposed in Slovakia as of November 25.
But all after-school activities will be halted around the country and the Christmas holidays will start earlier than planned - the last day of school before the holidays should be Friday, December 17, pending confirmation from the ministry.
"I still need to get advice on that from experts and the epi-team," Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) said.
Originally, the last day of school before Christmas was to be December 22. The holidays are scheduled to last until January 10. The ministry is not planning to change that date for now.
"We aim to keep as many pupils as possible in schools until the holidays," Gröhling told the press briefing on November 26. He said earlier that if schools closed now, there would certainly be pressure on them to remain closed until the end of December and the return to schools after the Christmas holidays would bring about uncertainty and a lag in education.
Schools should, however, follow stricter anti-Covid rules in the coming weeks. Since the start of the lockdown, the mask mandate for pupils older than 6 has been reimposed. Gröhling said he will also impose a ban on mixing pupils between classrooms. Pupils should mix as little as possible, including in canteens.
Mandatory testing at schools is not going to be introduced for pupils for now, but all school staff will have to follow the OTP regime (those who are not vaccinated will need to get tested).
The minister said it's possible they will introduce a rule that will allow parents to pull kids out of school at their own will. For now, school attendance is compulsory.
After-school activities halted