The new school year in Romania will start on September 14 with classes being held according to the epidemiological situation in each locality.
The school year is going to start on September 14 with classes being held according to three scenarios that will be implemented in each region, depending on the number of new coronavirus infections per one thousand inhabitants. After consultations with the Liberal government, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced on Wednesday that the decision regarding a possible total or partial lockdown on schools would be made by the local authorities, but most children will go to school in person.
Klaus Iohannis: “The green scenario means a very small number of contaminations in that respective locality or no contaminations at all, while the red scenario means more than three people on average contaminated daily in the past days, which entails an alert scenario when children don’t go to school but study online. The yellow scenario is between the green and red ones. It means that kindergartens and primary schools will operate, the 8th and 12th graders who are preparing for an examination will go to school and for the rest, decisions will be made by each school. Part of the children will go to school and the others will study online, so as to ensure social distancing for those who go to school daily.”
The education minister Monica Anisie also said that pupils will be obliged to wear masks during classes, and if the situation requires it, classes will be held online. The opposition Social Democrats have hailed the decision on the start of the school year in September but warn that children and teachers have not yet received the tablets and computers promised by the government to ensure online classes. The spokesman for the Social Democratic Party Lucian Romascanu says that the authorities have failed to properly manage the health crisis and urges them to observe their promises:
Lucian Romascanu: “The lack of instruments for distance learning is a big problem and we hope that the epidemic will not recrudesce, so as to go back to online classes. I do hope that the education ministry will eventually do what it needs to do, given that there is enough money left following the ending of the “Crescent roll and milk” program. The later they act, the bigger the impact on children’s access to education.”
The National Student Council has equally hailed the decision on the three scenarios for the beginning of the school year. The Save the Children Romania NGO also hailed the decision, warning that almost half of Romania’s children, 47%, have had limited access to education during the isolation measures imposed by the pandemic, as they did not have a tablet or a computer. The education minister says the government has allotted the necessary money for purchasing 250 thousand tablets for children from disadvantaged areas and is currently preparing the purchase of 74 thousand laptops for more than 1,100 high schools. (L. Simion)