Poland plans to reopen its primary schools for the youngest pupils as of 18 January after online learning had been introduced in November for first, second and third-year primary school students as the number of COVID-19 saw a rapid uptick, announced Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.
“This is a most timid step,” said the health minister about plans to launch stationary education in the three youngest primary school years.
After having “weighed the risks of the pandemic [against] the costs of the youngest children not attending schools”, the government has “decided that the damage caused by pupils not being among their peers outweighs the risks” of them returning, Niedzielski added.
Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek noted that the testing of teachers in grades 1-3 for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections had started on Monday. “Those who eventually detect the coronavirus will not return to school, and thus the health safety among students at schools, but especially among teachers, will be at a very high level,” he added.
For the moment, this is the government’s only plan to lift certain lockdown measures in Poland, as hotels will remain closed (with the exception of receiving medics or employees of uniformed services on business trips), and restaurants will continue to only be able to offer customers food via takeaways or delivery. (Joanna Jakubowska | EURACTIV.pl)