© SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
How will schools start their return to normal? The future of national education was discussed when members of the chamber commission met on Thursday.
Minister of Education Claude Meisch has joined the chamber commission on Thursday to communicate the planned exit strategy for schools across the country. All classes will be divided into smaller groups during this process, regardless of primary or secondary level.
The plan sees one group being taught in school during one week, while the other group completes its tasks and homework remotely. Groups then switch after one week. Thanks to this reorganisation, only 50,000 people will be circulating the national institutions, in contrast to 100,000 that do so in regular times. The measure is aimed at reducing the spreading of the coronavirus.
The minister furthermore explained that the government considered dividing the first week back in school to put all students on the same level.
Physical education remains cancelled, while school cafeterias need to stay closed as well. A replacement strategy to feed students has yet to be put into place, but the government is working on it, minister Meisch assured.
Breaks will still be held, but reorganised to reduce the number of students simultaneously circulating the outside premises. The school hallways will only be accessible from one direction.
The minister also explained that every student and teacher would receive a kit of two masks made from fabric, before classes beginn anew. Masks will be mandatory for the way to school and back. They can however be taken off inside the classrooms. Several disinfectant stations will be made available in every single institution.
Vulnerable students and teachers are still advised to stay home. The content of missed classes will thus be made available via live recordings.
If the infection of a student or teaching staff is confirmed in a school, said institution will not be closed, minister Meisch emphasised. People in direct contact with the infected person will be tested and isolated, as is already practice in businesses still operating under the corona pandemic.
The minister also communicated the timeline for the scheduled reopening of schools, which is set to expand over the duration of a month: first seniors, then high schools, and finally primary schools, day cares, and nurseries.
Starting 4 May, senior students will be able to return to their class rooms to address urgent questions regarding final exams. Even in this case, only small groups will be allowed back to reduce the total number of students entering the building.
Final exams will begin on 25 May, as scheduled at the start of the year. However, exams will be held in smaller class rooms instead of the large ones usually occupied for this purpose.
High schools will start anew on 11 May. This measure will also allow for music lessons to take place again, although not in collectivised manner, but on individual basis.
The reopening of primary schools is scheduled for 25 May. Day cares will become available for all students, even those not previously registered.
Minister Meisch preferred not to comment on the developments of sport clubs, and referred to minister Dan Kersch for further information. Playgrounds will remain closed to the public until further notice.