On September 14 the schools open

 The joint press conference is currently underway, during which it was officially announced by the Minister of Education, Niki Kerameos, that the schools will open for the new school year on September 14.

As he added, the operation of the school year will be done with all students and increased prevention and precautionary measures. The use of the mask will be mandatory indoors and will be distributed free of charge to students and teachers of public and private schools.

The joint press conference is held in the presence of the government representative, Stelios Petsas, the Minister of Education & Religions, Nikis Kerameos, the Minister of Interior, Takis Theodorikakou, the President of KEDE, Dimitris Papastergiou, while it is also attended by Dr. .

It is recalled that although the Ministry of Education had originally announced September 7 as the start date of the new school year, the epidemiological data changed in August, which forced experts to think twice, considering various scenarios. Among them is the extension of the start for a week in order to examine the course of the pandemic after the return of the last excursionists to the urban centers.

Petsas: We invite all parents to return home in the next few days with their children
In his introductory statement, the government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, stressed the following:

Good afternoon to all and sundry,

To win the war with the unprecedented global, health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic requires teamwork. Government, Local Government, Teachers, Students, Parents.
The Government and the Local Government have been working closely together all this time, as the school year that starts in a few days is different.
Additional protection measures are needed so that our schools remain a hive of knowledge, not a outbreak of coronavirus.

And while the Ministry of Education is responsible for the new school year at all levels, the role of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities is extremely important. Who – within the framework of their responsibilities – do everything necessary for the proper operation of the schools, from taking care of the necessary cleaning staff, to ensuring the necessary disinfection and disposal of all consumables, such as masks and antiseptics.

Regarding the opening of schools, I would like to note that a sufficient number of our fellow citizens have not yet returned to urban centers. Especially in Athens, until August 31, based on the analysis of population mobility data – from tolls, ferry and air transport, as well as public transport – it appears that about 85% of the capital’s residents have returned to the city.

So we invite all parents to return home in the coming days with their children. And take care, for the good of the whole family, to stay safe by limiting their contacts with the wider community for the next few days until the start of classes. The relevant details for the start of the new school year will be presented by the Minister of Education and Religions Mrs. Niki Kerameos, the Minister of Interior Mr. Takis Theodorikakos and the President of KEDE Mr. Dimitris Papastergiou. With us is the Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases of EKPA Mrs. Vana Papaevangelou for any of your specialized questions.
With the hope of having a good, safe school year, I now give the floor to the Minister of Education, Mrs. Κεραμέως.

Kerameos: The schools will open on September 14
The entire position of Niki Kerameos:

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening, good month and good school and academic year.

The purpose of today’s press conference is to give you some additional information about the opening of the schools and to analyze both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President of KEDE actions that have been taken in their areas of responsibility for the smooth operation of schools. And of course we are all at your disposal for questions. We also warmly thank Ms. Papaevangelou, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at EKPA and a member of the Committee of Specialists, who is also at your disposal for questions. 

As we have already said, the beginning of the new school year will be with all students and with increased prevention and precautionary measures

  • This operation plan is again based on the recommendation and instructions of the National Committee for the Protection of Public Health against Coronavirus COVID-19, which took into account the latest epidemiological and scientific data.
  • We will always emphasize it – The evolution of the pandemic is a dynamic process. Each step is evaluated and updated – if necessary – on the basis of pandemic development, at local, regional and national levels.
  • The Ministry of Education and Religions is ready for the new school year, a preparation process that has begun many months ago. 

For the smooth start of schools:

  • We have already completed the recruitment of substitute teachers and special education and support staff, earlier than in all recent years. 
  • We have simplified the procedures so that teachers can take on in-school service without having to go to the Directorate of Education, which is often located in another area or city.
  • The delivery of books has been done on time. 

We strengthened the human resources – we prioritized the staffing of the schools : 

  • We completed the first in the country 4,500 permanent appointments of teachers and special education and support staff in Special Education and Training.
  • We published the new temporary tables for permanent appointments in General Education , the basis for the 10,500 permanent appointments that are coming to completion.

We have already taken the following measures to prevent and prevent the coronavirus, under which the schools will operate

1. USE OF A MASK
The use of the mask becomes mandatory in all indoor areas, and outside where there is synergy, as well as in the means of student transport, while we place special emphasis on education in the use of the mask from Kindergarten to the third grade.

The government provides free masks to all students and teachers in public and private schools.

2. INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS

The updated instructions that will be sent to the schools are ready, which will also be published on the website of the Ministry of Education. The cooperation with the Panhellenic Medical Association has been launched, in the framework of which doctors will visit the schools to explain the protection and prevention measures and of course the appropriate use of the mask. 

3. ANTISEPTICS AT SCHOOL, SCHOOL CLEANING

With the care of the Local Government. The Minister of Interior and the President of KEDE will then analyze them for you. 

4. STRENGTHENING ALL DAY SCHOOL

With additional credits over 100 million euros, aimed at protecting the most vulnerable groups of the population, such as grandparents.

5. SAMPLING CHECKS FROM REVENUES IN SCHOOLS

In cases that require surgery.

6. DIFFERENT BREAKS

Aiming to reduce co-occurrence between student groups.

7. CUSTOMIZED CYLINDER OPERATION

The committee has already given instructions for the custom operation of the canteens. 

8. SCHOOL CELEBRATIONS WITH MEASURES

Within each school department.

9. STUDENT COMPETITIONS WITH MEASURES

With mandatory mask and observance of other measures.

10. NO EXCURSIONS & CONFERENCES

11. VISITS AND WALKS PER DEPARTMENT

Visits (eg to museums, public buildings) will take place per department.

12. SPORTS

– Small, stable teams are provided for team games.

– The school championships will not take place.

13. LABORATORIES

Stable co – operation groups are envisaged and

Cleaning of materials / equipment after each use.
14. COMPUTER ROOM

Keyboard and mouse cleaning.

15. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

– Instrument cleaning after each use

– Especially in case of wind instruments it is recommended to keep a distance of 3 m.

16. STRONG RECOMMENDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL HERITAGE / WATER

It is provided free of charge to every primary, public and private student, donated by the Athanasios Laskaridis Foundation. A measure to avoid the exchange of bottles, glasses, mouth contact with the tap, which, by reducing the use of plastic, also offers an environmentally friendly solution.

Categories of students who are exempt from compulsory mask use

  • Generally excluded
  • Childreń with cognitive, developmental or mental disorder or behavioral disorder 
  • Children with a serious neurological, muscular or other disease that prevents them from wearing their mask 
    In Special Education schools , the use of a mask is provided only if possible
    The absence of students and teachers is justified in the following cases:

If COVID-19 is infected by the student / teacher himself / herself or someone living in his / her home

  • It is necessary to present a medical certificate

If the student belongs to an increased risk group , as defined by the Committee

  •  It is necessary to present a medical certificate from the treating doctor or from a doctor of the relevant specialty
  • If the teacher belongs to an increased risk group , as defined by the Ministry of Education – In this case provides distance education to students who stay home
  • It is necessary to present a medical certificate from the treating doctor or from a doctor of the relevant specialty

The increased risk groups are determined, based on the instructions of the Specialists, to which, if students belong, they can justifiably be absent:

  • Students receiving chemotherapy for malignancy or after homologous hematopoietic cell transplantation if less than 6 months have elapsed since its completion
  • Students after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation if less than 12 months have elapsed
  • Students after a solid organ transplant if less than 24 months have passed
  • Students with sickle cell disease
  • Students with severe congenital or acquired immunodeficiency (HIV and CD4 <500)
  • Students undergoing chronic cortisone therapy (prednisolone> 20mg / day)
  • Students with severe chronic kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Students with hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease or known cardiomyopathy
  • Students with chronic, severe lung disease, such as cystic ionization with respiratory failure or children with severe and uncontrolled asthma, according to the opinion of a specialized center
  • Students with complex metabolic or neurological problems.

For teachers, high-risk groups remain the same, as defined by the Ministry of Education (JMC, May 15, 2020).

In the absence of students and / or teachers, the following is provided:

  • Modern teaching and distance learning for those students and teachers who have a special reason for being absent from school
    and
  • Additional appropriations for substitute teachers for the provision of lifelong or distance education 

For working parental leave (public and private sector)

  • There is a special provision for special purpose leave if they have a child who belongs to a high-risk group and must be absent from school

The operation of School Units will be configured as follows:

  • In case of a case, the EODY Protocol will be followed: the department will be closed and the student’s contacts will be tracked.
  • Definition provided managers outbreak within each school unit.
  • In case of suspension of department / school operation: the operation will be done exclusively through distance learning.

Regarding the dates :

  • Today, 1st September took office our teachers in schools and September 14 starting classes at all schools in the country (this includes kindergartens)
  • An important factor for this decision was to give a sufficient period of time from the return of the excursionists and to limit the movements of the asymptomatic ones, as data show that a significant part of the population has not yet returned. 
  • A request to the tourists to return with their families immediately, in order to limit the movements of any asymptomatic ones and in general to stabilize the epidemiological picture.

In the context of the Financial Support of the structures supervised by the Ministry of Education and Religions for the treatment and prevention of the spread of the coronavirus, the following actions have been approved, among others:

  • Significant expansion of All-Day Schools: Additional funding of over 100 million euros for the expansion of All-Day Kindergartens and Primary Schools, so that more children stay in school until 4pm, to engage in study and creative activities of art education, physical education, computer science and foreign languages, as well as to limit the contact of children with persons belonging to high-risk groups
  • Recruitment of additional deputies to fill the gaps arising from the absence of teachers proven to belong to high-risk groups and for conducting distance learning courses only (“online classes”).

All of the above in addition to the 4,500 permanent appointments in special education and training that have already been completed, and the 10,500 appointments in general education that are coming to completion and strengthen the human resources of the training.

  • Upgrading of public platforms (e-class, e-me) through the strengthening of networks and their human resources – strengthened Panhellenic School Network.
  • School equipment: we strengthen the technological equipment of schools with over 70,000 portable devices (laptop, tablet). 
  • Teacher training programs in distance learning.
  • Educational television: creation from scratch of a “library” of courses for primary education – possibility for expansion. 
  • University: support of teaching staff for conducting courses in small groups.

 Throughout this project, the role of the Ministry of Interior and the Municipalities is important, within the framework of their responsibilities for the smooth operation of the schools, as taking care of the necessary cleaning staff the provision in schools of all consumables (masks, antiseptics, soaps, cleaners, etc.) the operation of school canteens with specialized instructions.

I wish a good start to our children, their parents and our teachers. And thank them again for their key contribution to this great endeavor. 

This year will be a different year from the others. I completely understand your anxieties. We owe it to our children to be in their physical space, at school, with the best possible protection measures. Our children are safer at school, where they operate by the rules, under the guidance of their valuable teachers, than on the street and in the squares where they play without rules. With the protection measures at school, our children and our teachers are also protected, but our family is also protected when the child or the teacher returns from school. We are here to ensure both the good of health and that of education. We will emerge stronger from this crisis.   

Source -Πηγή: iefimerida.gr – https://www.iefimerida.gr/ellada/stis-14-septembrioy-anoigoyn-ta-sholeia-live

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