Greek elementary schools will be reopening as of Monday, January 11th, according an announcement made on Monday evening by the Ministry of Education after a report on the situation by the infections disease committee.
Greek kindergartens and elementary schools had been closed since the most recent lockdown in an effort to stem the tide of coronavirus infections.
Special education schools will also be allowed to reopen on that date.
Staggered Arrival times, multiple entrances to be used to limit exposure
However, there will be several measures in place to ensure that the students will remain as safe as possible, including a staggered arrival time for all pupils, using different entrances to school buildings, and the use of a special platform through which teachers can apply for free coronavirus tests for themselves prior to returning to class.
All teachers who request the test will be informed about their appointment by SMS so that they can undergo the test at the nearest of the 386 testing checkpoints throughout Greece.
It is noted that this measure is completely voluntary for teachers and is of a purely preventive nature. Detailed instructions on how this will be carried out will be issued.
There will be no distance education on January 8 in primary education but that will begin to take place in high schools and lyceums, and their physical reopening will be re-examined in the near future, according to the officials.
There will also be a reduction in the exam material for the GYLikeio, which will be announced within the week.
Niki Kerameus, Greece’s Minister of Education, stated: “The current conditions allow us to gradually start the opening of our schools, based on the suggestion of specialists. The first step is kindergartens and primary schools, given the special social and psycho-emotional needs of children, as well as the continuation of the operation of our special schools.”
Al training units for special education will also be in operation as of January 11, according to the Ministry announcement.
Teachers to report on January 8 to ready for new term
for Teachers working in the above-listed schools are asked to report for work on Friday, January 8, 2021, to ready themselves for the new term.
All gymnasiums and lyceums, will start with distance education on Friday January 8, and further information regarding their opening will be forthcoming later on.
At the same time, all the precautionary measures already taken and the instructions put out by the EODY will be maintained in force, including the obligatory use of masks both indoors and outdoors, the use of antiseptics, hand washing, and the special measures for the adapted operation of cafeterias, computer labs, and musical instruments.
Official statement from Niki Kerameus, Minister of Education
Minister Niki Kerameos said in her official statement on Monday evening:
“School is the natural environment for students and teachers, and lifelong learning is irreplaceable.
“Distance education is a very useful tool to keep the learning process alive and to continue teaching the material, throughout the period of suspension, according to the recommendations of experts, of the living operation of our schools.
“Our teachers and students have made the most of it, have shown remarkable adaptability and have managed to continue the educational process as smoothly as possible.
“The current conditions allow us to gradually start the opening of our schools, on the basis of the suggestion of the specialists and with the first step the kindergartens and primary schools, given the special social and psycho-emotional needs of our young students, as well as the continuation of the living operation of our special schools.
We want open schools, we want our children and teachers in the classrooms. The pandemic is still here and the ability to open and keep our schools open will be a collective success. The effort will continue, so that the other educational structures of the country can be reopened for good.”