Czech primary school lower graders could return to classroom as early as April 12

On the Wednesday after Easter, the government will announce whether primary schools will re-open in all districts.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 02.04.2021 09:24 (updated on 02.04.2021)

Primary school pupils from the first five grades are set to return to regular instruction at schools in the Czech Republic on April 12, along with kindergarten and preschool children, but maybe not in all districts, Education Minister Robert Plaga told reporters Thursday.

Students in the lower grades of primary school will rotate between regular and distance instruction, while students in the upper grades, from the sixth to ninth years, will continue distance learning.

During the first phase of the school reopening in the Czech Republic, secondary schoolers and university students will still learn via distance instruction exclusively, along with primary school upper graders.

School children will be tested for coronavirus twice a week, using antigen tests. Face masks will be mandatory at schools, but not in kindergartens, Plaga added. Classes for preschool and kindergarten will be conducted in groups of 15 students maximum.

The government is set to debate this proposal on Tuesday.

Since March 1, schools have been open only to the children of healthcare and other essential workers, with the rest of the country's students doing instruction online. Kindergartens were closed as well after the last round of anti-coronavirus restrictions.

On Wednesday after Easter, the government announce whether the primary schools will re-open in all districts. It will depend on the epidemic situation, said Health Minister Jan Blatny who said that the reproduction number (R number), which represents the people infected by one positive person, would be the deciding factor. If the R number is over 1.00 in a particular district, an indication that the epidemic is accelerating, the school opening could be postponed by a week.

The Education Ministry said that regardless it plans to enable voluntary consultations in groups of up to six students for primary school upper grades and secondary school students who face challenges with their studies.

Final year university students may be able to attend practical courses and laboratory exercises as of April 19, the final decision on this would be made according to the epidemic development, Plaga said.

He also said that school re-openings are not a signal for the relaxation of the anti- lockdown rules in the other areas. The re-opening of schools is a nationwide priority, he stressed.

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