First day of school after six months of pandemic

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The new school year starts today under very special conditions for roughly 2.8 million preschoolers and pupils, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 100,00 in over 260 schools and kindergartens will start school in the red scenario, meaning exclusively online, while other 5,000 pupils will got to school on a rotational basis: physical and online classes.

Pupils in the primary school are compelled to wear face masks while at school, and the same rule applies to the teachers as well.

Schools in Romania have been closed since March 11.

According to the latest announcement made by the Education minister Monica Anisie:

  • 12,423 schools start in the green scenario (all pupils to school)
  • 4,915 schools in the yellow scenario (physical/online attendance)
  • 262 schools in the red scenario (exclusively online)
The minister said that around 100,000 pupils are currently in the red scenario, meaning exclusively online. The Government has not managed to concluded the public tender to buy those 250,000 tablets promised to the pupils, but minister Anisie said on Sunday evening that 87.7% of children have tablets and laptops, some of their own, and in other cases these devices are received from the local authorities or county school inspectorates.
There are 11 counties in Romania where no school is under the red scenario: Harghita, Caraş-Severin, Hunedoara, Ialomiţa, Bihor, Vâlcea, Tulcea, Botoşani, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Covasna and Vaslui. So, school starts here in the green or yellow scenario.
In Bucharest, 607 schools are under the yellow scenario, and other 29 in the red one. The situation has been revised on Sunday evening, when 8 schools initially under the yellow scenario moved to the red one, while 5 such units left the red scenario and joined the yellow one.

 

Statements by the President, PM, Education minister

Each of you will have the opportunity to be a super hero, says the message delivered by President Klaus Iohannis for the school start. Iohannis reminds teachers that they will have a tough mission this year and that a lot of patience, flexibility and energy are needed.

“We are going through a situation that would have seemed possible only in the books or movies some months ago. Until we manage to defeat the virus that had changed the lifestyle of us all, we’ll have to observe some special rules at the school, rules that are designed to not put your health and of the beloved ones at risk. Each of you have the opportunity to be super heroes who wear face masks, wash hands frequently and listen to the guidance of teachers and protect parents and grandparents, who are mostly exposed to the risk of infection. I have very much confidence in you and we’ll get through this period, together”, says the President’s message.

In his turn, PM Ludovic Orban said that pupils will have one lesson in addition this year, to take care of their health and o the others’.

The PM wished pupils good luck and made a call to responsibility and observance of all rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus. “It will be a common effort for the schools functioning under classical regime not to become the spread of the novel coronavirus”, said the prime minister.

“Wear face masks, observe the protection and health rules, cherish education!”, Orban added, while also wishing good luck to teachers. “Together with the doctors and the front line staff, you will contribute to protecting the pupils’ health and to fight the spread of the virus”.

Education minister Monica Anisie told pupils to observe the rules for their own safety, while thanking teachers for their involvement this summer.

“We are focusing on learning, education must go on in any circumstances. Be responsible, careful, but also be involved. We are all going to school. It is important for all of us to go to school (…) Children, be responsible and observe all prevention rules”, the minister said.

Asked what grade would she give to herself for the activity as a minister, Anisie replied: “All through this time no one have ever experienced that before. We all have made sustained efforts- public school authorities, school inspectorates, teachers, headmasters- I thank all for what they have done. I think that now the entire society should focus on the public responsibility and awareness”.

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