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Return to school classes: the request not to condition return to classrooms due to the increase in COVID-19 cases

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Almost two months after starting the school year, parent groups, colleges and experts lamented the recent statements of the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, who said that he hopes that the increase in infections of COVID-19 don’t prevent a return to classrooms in March. “Hopefully the return to classes, it depends. If we manage to reduce the contagions then the return can be given“, He said.

ALSO READ: Return to face-to-face classes: What is good and what is bad in the Minedu plan?

In this regard, Milagros Sáenz, spokesperson for the Volvamos a Clases Collective, which groups mothers and fathers from public and private schools, told Trade that it makes no sense to think about not opening the schools and keep other spaces open such as casinos, bars, shopping centers, among others.

From the collective we consider the minister Cevallos, based on his statements, as the number one enemy of education and students in the country. Is making obstacles for him return to classes“, Held.

On the way back to the classrooms, the students will keep one meter apart.  Kiosks and cafeterias will be closed.
On the way back to the classrooms, the students will keep one meter apart. Kiosks and cafeterias will be closed.

Sáenz added that if there is a peak of infections, it is possible to continue with the presence in schools under the respective protocols and care, as has happened in other countries. It is worth saying that within the provisions for the return to classes, it is pointed out that teaching and non-teaching staff must have full vaccination. In the case of students, it is not mandatory, for now.

If this happens we will witness that open colleges it does not directly increase the infections of children and adolescents. You should continue with the protocols that already worked very well in schools from other parts of the world and which reopened in 2021“, he pointed.

ALSO READ: Face-to-face classes: why do private schools ask that classes not be limited to four hours a day?

Meanwhile, Susana Díaz, institutional manager of the Asociación de Colegios Particulares Amigos (ADECOPA), regretted that not allowing the return to classrooms in March, in case of contagions of COVID-19 increase. However, he considered that it responds to a concern of the Government.

It would be a shame to have to delay the return, but we can only abide by what the Government indicates. In that case we would have to continue with virtual education”, He specified.

Díaz explained that if he did not give himself a back to classrooms in March, those most affected would be students from schools with fewer resources, who find it more difficult to have good connectivity for remote classes.

Physical distancing, ventilation of the environments used for classes and the proper use of masks, are some of the provisions of the Minedu for presence in schools.  (Photo: GEC)
Physical distancing, ventilation of the environments used for classes and the proper use of masks, are some of the provisions of the Minedu for presence in schools. (Photo: GEC)

It affects not only emotionally, but also the opportunities that children miss to educate and develop. There will even be many children who would drop out of school“, I consider.

For his part, the educational policy specialist, Paul Neira, said that the Omicron variant it begins to be the perfect justification to prepare the way with a view to not opening the schools on time. “From my point of view, the statements of Minister Cevallos are not a good sign. We are reaching a point where there has to be a decision based on verifiable facts“, he claimed.

He said he disagrees with a possible delay in the reopening of schools and is curious that the Ministry of Health (Minsa) values ​​this possibility, one of its responsibilities being to ensure the mental health of people.

ALSO READ: Minister of Education: “I have the obligation to take very quick actions that allow the return to face-to-face”

It should be taken into account that in Peru, 60% of children and adolescents between 11 and 18 years old have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine. This age group is half of the school population”, He said.

Exceptional measure

Daniel Contreras, UNICEF Education specialist, told this newspaper that not opening schools should be a measure of last resort, although without any scientific support.

Closing schools should be an exceptional measure. According to what we have as evidence so far, closing schools when there is already community contagion and other public spaces have been opened makes no difference. Schools are not a contagion point. Has no sense”, He commented.

ALSO READ: The Minister of Health hopes that the progress of the omicron variant will not affect the return to face-to-face school classes

The expert added that the general criterion of keeping schools open has been the characteristic in most European countries. In the case of America, it specified that the schools that had already begun reopening processes were not suspended. lessons during the second wave.

Serna considers the return to the classroom vital

In a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education (Minedu), the new head of the sector, Rosendo Serna, affirmed that he assumes the position with a different perspective to meet the needs and problems of the regions, and with the aim of adopting concrete and immediate measures for the return to presence, which he considered a fundamental issue in the sector.

I have the obligation to take very quick actions that allow the attention of the students, the schools and the return to the presence, because I consider that it is of vital importance to return to the classrooms, and to streamline the management we have to simplify the attention to the user, the country needs executive, operational and immediate measures”, He indicated.

Minsa coordinates with Minedu

For his part, Hernando Cevallos said last night that one of the priorities of his sector is the health of children and said that the return of schoolchildren to blendedness will depend on how the pandemic evolves.

We cannot predict the exact evolution of the pandemic. We want you to return to classes in person, we have conditions now, but we will do the evaluation at the right time, the most important thing is the health of the children”, He indicated.

In this regard, the Vice Minister of Public Health, Gustavo Rosell, reported that a technical team from the Ministry of Health has been coordinating with the Ministry of Health to develop a proposal for new guidelines on the face-to-face return to classes.

Rosell recalled that the Ministerial Resolution, RM N ° 121 – 2021 Minedu, which establishes the guidelines for returning to school, was approved in March last year when the health situation was different.

We are going to review the issue of hours of permanence. As a ministry, we will give all the necessary support so that children have the necessary protection measures. Today’s scenario is totally different because now we do have vaccines”, He highlighted.

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