Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Oelmek raises concerns over reopening of schools

Health and safety protocols regarding re-opening of schools are far from sufficient, secondary teachers union Oelmek said on Sunday, raising concerns over the government’s policy to allow final year students back as of May 11.

In a statement, Oelmek said that as per government rules, businesses needed to ensure that every person has eight square metres of space but this is apparently being thrown out the window where schools are concerned.

It highlighted that when final year students return to school schools should be disinfected before and during each day, and there should also be rules mandating temperature checks, masks, gloves and any other tests required to ensure health and safety.

Oelmek proposed students should be grouped and come to school on different days according to which subjects they study in a bid to avoid all students at the premises at the same time.

Additionally, students should not be in school for more than two weeks and they should be brought to school in buses, limiting the number of passengers.

The number of students per classroom should comply to the one person per eight square metres rule and absences should not be taken, Oelmek said.

According to a ministry announcement more than 12 students will not be allowed in each classroom, while breaktimes will be staggered.

According to the union, a teleconference between them and the education minister a concluded that as of May 11, teachers teaching any subjects to final year students would return to school. On the days where in-school teaching will be carried out, they will not have to teach online.

Students that belong to or have family members as vulnerable groups will remain home and the education ministry will be responsible to provide teaching at home.

Any teachers that belong to vulnerable groups or have family members belonging to vulnerable groups will stay at home and teach online.

The material which will be examined in the Pancyprian exams will be announced on Monday.


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