President Klaus Iohannis has announced on Monday after a new sitting on measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic that schools and kindergartens are not to be re-opened anymore during this academic year, but students will continue to study online, and the academic year will be concluded based on the grades obtained so far. At the same time, the final exams, to entry high school and to graduate high school will be taken by students, with strict social distancing rules in store.
“At present, the physical activity is suspended across the education units during the state of emergency and we assessed the situation as the academic year ends on June 12. We must be aware that the epidemic is not over. I hear that we must get relaxed, but, unfortunately, it’s not the case. We cannot talk about easing or slowing down social distancing rules,” the head of state pointed out.
He added that several simple things must be considered. “The fact that pupils will get back to school would imply two major risks. The major risk is that students are taking the infection in school, and the other one is to bring the disease from school at home“, Iohannis underlined.
The Romanian president said they had also looked at the expertise of other countries. “There are some countries that don’t want to open schools anymore, but others are still assessing the situation. Some states have opened schools experimentally. In France, after few days of school re-opening tens of pupils have tested positive for coronavirus, while more teachers have ended up in intensive care in just few days. So, things are not simple.”
As a conclusion, Iohannis said that the Romanian authorities had decided not to re-open schools this year and the pupils will not return physically in the classrooms and schools will re-open as of September when a new academic year is starting. “They will though continue online classes until June 12 and there might be additional evaluations to conclude the final grades. There will be some exceptions yet. The 8th and 12th graders will be able to return to schools after June 2 in order to get ready for the final national exams. The social distancing rules will be observed, there will be maximum 10 pupils in the classroom and they will not stay more than 2-3 hours in class”, the president explained.
National high school entrance and graduation exams will be held as planned (the Romanian Education minister had previously announced these exams will be probably held somewhere in July), but with observing strict social distancing rules, namely there will be less students in the classroom, their temperature will be checked, there will be one way to enter the schools and another one to exit, etc.
New military ordinance amends the elderly’s going out time frame
President Iohannis has also announced a new military ordinance will revise, as of today, the time frame allowed for the elderly to go out.
Thus, the elderly over 65 will be able to go out from 07:00 to 11:00hrs a.m. and in the evening, from 19:00hrs to 22:00hrs. People aged over 65 will be able to get out twice a day, either for shopping or for walks around the block.