Breaking: First and second graders will return to school next week

Teaching will take place under strict epidemiological measures with masks required in all classrooms.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 11.11.2020 14:23 (updated on 11.11.2020)

Students in the first and second grade of primary schools, who are currently learning at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return to the classrooms Wednesday, Nov. 18 the Czech government announced today.

Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) announced the return at Wednesday's briefing in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech Parliament. Compulsory distance learning will continue for students of upper grades.

"On November 18, first and second grade students of primary school, preparatory classes, and special schools for disabled students return to school," Plaga said at Wednesday's press briefing. 

"The costs of slowing down the pandemic were borne by the Czech education system, so I am glad that with this step we can return to the full-time form," Plaga added.

Teaching will take place under strict epidemiological measures. Students will be required to wear masks during lessons and schools will be urged to adopt better ventilation practices. Outside teaching is encouraged.

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After-school groups and food service operations can resume, however, music and physical education classes will not yet be allowed to restart.

The education minister also announced that while school canteens will be open for those returning to school, others can pick up lunch as long as food is not eaten in the cafeteria.

Due to the worsening pandemic situation, schools began to close gradually in the first half of October. Elementary schools switched to distance learning completely from October 14. Only kindergartens have remained open.

With regard to upper grades returning to the classroom, Plaga said that further school openings will depend on epidemic developments.