Children should return to schools next Monday

Schools will follow the traffic light system, while voluntary self-testing of pupils will remain in place.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

In-person education in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will resume on January 10, as originally planned.

This stems from the official statement sent by the Education Ministry.

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Children will return to their classrooms after the Christmas school holidays which started on December 20. In addition, several schools in districts across the country were closed (particularly grades five through nine of primary schools and all grades of secondary schools) following the decision of regional hygienists in early December.

“The epidemic situation has improved,” said Education Minister Branislav Gröhling. “The data from the Health Ministry shows the lower number of hospitalisations and positive cases, which is why we are following the already announced information and reopening schools on January 10.”

No nationwide closure

After schools reopen next week, they should follow the school Covid traffic light system. This means that schools should not be closed on the national level – instead, only individual classrooms will be closed if there is a positive pupil based on the decision of the school principal.

If the situation is very bad, the regional hygienist can decide on closing the entire school.

How Slovakia failed to vaccinate its population Read more 

At the same time, there will be voluntary self-testing of schoolchildren for which the Education Ministry distributes more than three million tests.

Pupils are also required to wear masks while at school. The exceptions include children in kindergartens, children suffering from autism spectrum disorder, children with serious mental disorders, deaf and hard-of-hearing children, and teachers.

Support from politicians

Apart from Gröhling, the reopening of schools has been supported by PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO).

“The prime minister is aware of the immense importance of in-person education for pupils and students,” said his spokesperson Ľubica Janíková, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Registration for vaccination of children launched, first jabs given after New Year's Read more 

Yet, he stressed the statements of the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry will be crucial.

The Health Ministry’s spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová said that the experts working for the ministry are currently evaluating the situation. The ministry will provide more information after these talks are over and the outcome is approved by the government, she added for TASR.

Read more about the coronavirus developments in Slovakia:

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