President Iohannis on resuming physical courses: The situation is good. Call on Romanians to get vaccinated

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President Klaus Iohannis has announced in a press statement at Cotroceni Palace this afternoon after a meeting with the Education minister that the situation is good after schools had resumed their physical courses on Monday, with over 2 million children returning to classes.

The head of state mentioned that there are around 6,000 schools under the yellow scenario (with only 0 to 4th graders and also the 8th and 12th graders, who have national exams, returning to schools, and the rest of the grades attending online classes).

“Over 2 million pupils have resumed physical courses on Monday, February 8. That means 70% of the entire pupils in Romania. The others continue to attend online classes. Of course, we all want that localities under the yellow or red scenario or those under quarantine to have a positive evolution and enter the green scenario”, the President stated.

However, he underlined that “we need to be realistic, as the pandemic is not over”.

“Even if, fortunately, some restrictions have been adopted to prompt successive decreases in the number of infections, unfortunately we cannot say that we got rid of the pandemic. It is important to keep on observing the restrictions, to be responsible and now we do have a very serious reason. There are the children of Romania who need physical courses. The more we respect the restrictions, the less new infections we’ll have and the better the school in physical format will be”.

So, the head of state called on Romanians to keep on wearing face masks and on respecting social distancing and invited them to get vaccinated. “We have a vaccination campaign that is moving forward, with the number of vaccine doses and vaccination centers on the rise. We have a change to get over with the pandemic if we get vaccinated. I invite all of you to go and take the jab when it’s your turn, for only this we can end this pandemic”, Iohannis said.

EU money from the Resilience Plan to be also assigned to education

At the same time, President Iohannis announced that more funds from the EU money enshrined in the Resilience Plan for Romania to help the recovery from the crisis generated by the pandemic (over EUR 30 billion) will go to the investments in education.

“We searched for the best areas where EU money can be asked in order to make the Romanian education system better. We want to give all children the chance to learn in order to have serious jobs in the future. We want a proper environment for teachers, to encourage and energize them. We want well trained youngsters for the Romanian society, with high paid jobs. We must start from where we are now, with many schools facing problems, with a system that has been underfunded for many decades. We managed to draft several areas where we can make the difference with this EU money. Digitization is a large, difficult chapter that can be solved with EU money. The school system must be digitized, and all platforms digitized for online school. Money will also go to equipping schools. School  furniture is needed, labs, libraries must be equipped, all schools need teaching materials. Another chapter is the modernization. Each autumn we hear about unauthorized schools. We can bring schools into the 21st century. We can build green schools”, the President detailed.

Education minister: 244 pupils, 329 teachers test positive for Covid so far

In his turn, Education minister Sorin Cimpeanu said that 244 pupils and 329 people from the teaching staff have been confirmed with the novel coronavirus so far since Monday, February 8 when schools had re-opened.

“The cumulated incidence among pupils in those last 4 days is one case of pupil confirmed with Covid per 10,000 pupils, which is much lower than amid the general population,” the ministry announced, while also reporting that there are 8 counties where no Covid infection has been detected among pupils: Argeș, Brăila, Giurgiu, Neamț, Sibiu, Satu Mare, Tulcea and Vâlcea.

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