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  • Children at Lohikoski primary school, Jyväskylä, Finland, May 14, 2020.

    Children at Lohikoski primary school, Jyväskylä, Finland, May 14, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @FinIsrael

Published 15 May 2020
Opinion

Children will keep a safe distance and will receive classes in a staggered schedule.

Finland's Education Ministry reopened Thursday schools after a two-month closure period due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Pre-school and elementary school children were the first to return their activities.

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“Experts affirm schools reopening would have a minimal impact on the pandemic, but grand benefits for children,” Education Minister Li Andersson said, adding that her office instructed municipality authorities to enforce preventive measures in case of local outbreaks.

She also explained teachers and other education workers will comply with a sanitary protocol to avoid new contagious.

Children will keep a safe distance in classrooms and will receive classes in a staggered schedule. Lunchtime, recess, check-in, and departure hours will be restructured to avoid crowding in common spaces.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 “Large gatherings, such as graduation ceremonies, should not be organized. Based on the instructions, education providers can make arrangements that suit their own needs the best to resume contact teaching safely,” the Education Ministry stated.

Despite hygiene and timing system dispositions, many teachers and parents oppose resuming schooling activities only two weeks from the academic year’s end. According to local news media, between 10 to 20 percent of children will be absent from school.

Education Trade Union Director Heljä Misukka advocates for distance education as a safe strategy instead of contact teaching and requested for school nurseries strengthening.

Besides, educators’ labor union warned about a possible new COVID chain of transmission. So far, Finland registers 6,228 COVID-19 cases, 287 deaths, and 4,300 recoveries​​​​​​​.

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