This means that secondary education will be able to run full classes again from 31 May. The cabinet met on Saturday afternoon in the Catshuis to make the decision. The decision is taken on the basis of a new advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). Corona numbers are moving in the right direction, so there is no objection to this relaxation.
“Nothing beats lessons at school, that’s where students learn best,” says Education Minister Arie Slob. “It makes a big difference that students will receive at least six weeks of full physical education this year. Not only for their school performance, but also for their well-being. ”
As a result, all schools in the Netherlands can still open for at least six weeks until the summer holidays. In the South region, where the summer vacation starts last, it is eight weeks. Schools have until June 7 to organize everything. All schools must therefore be fully open on 7 June.
Schools will receive enough self-tests before May 31, Slob said. This means that both the students and their teachers have to test themselves preventively for corona twice a week. According to the Ministry of Education, the self-tests are also used if an infection is known. If someone tests positive – student or teacher – the whole class must be quarantined.
High school students currently only receive physical lessons for part of the week, the restrictions have already been lifted for graduation students only. With the new decision, a step in the reopening plan is brought forward, and pupils can go back to school in the last few weeks before the summer holidays.
Incidentally, not everyone is happy with a reopening. CNV Education does not think it is desirable, because many teachers have not been vaccinated and it will be difficult for them to keep sufficient distance from students. And that would lead to more absenteeism, predicts the union. “Why would you take such an organizational risk for the last few weeks of the year?” Said a spokesman earlier this week.
In the coming weeks, more and more education staff will receive a call for vaccination, the ministry said. This should increase the vaccination rate, at least for the first corona prick.
The cabinet is naturally pleased that there will be more room for secondary school students to go back to school, but their parents have often not yet been vaccinated. Fearing new trouble spots, the cabinet has so far put the brakes on.
On 1 June, the cabinet will determine whether ‘step three’ of the opening plan can be taken and whether further relaxation can be made. Then it is ideally decided that museums, theaters and cinemas can reopen and that the home visit can be expanded from two to four people. Catering establishments could therefore be open for eating out under certain conditions.
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