School lessons are suspended until May 24 but the government is slowly easing restrictions. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday that cultural institutions, hotels and shopping malls will be open starting on May 4. Parents will need a place for their children to stay during the day when returning to work. Children will be received at kindergartens and nurseries on May 6.
Local authorities will decide
The government has also considered opening primary schools for the youngest students. A decision has not yet been reached. One possible reason for the decision’s delay is that schools could open for the purpose of childcare, without a known plan for implementing the core curriculum.
- Would we have to run online classes after hours at schools? – ask teachers from Krakow.
The government has given the greenlight to open nurseries and kindergartens and has promised them disinfectants. Local authorities are to take the final decision on opening each institution. On what basis will the decision be made? We have not been able to contact Vice President Anna Korfel-Jasińska, who is responsible for education, or the education department director.
A list of questions for the ministry
The heads of kindergartens from Krakow have prepared a list of questions for the Ministry of Education on how to prepare for the work with children. They have asked about masks for the youngest (five and six-year-olds are obliged to wear them), how children should eat while wearing the masks and what to do when children find the masks uncomfortable. If the requirement for masks in kindergartens is lifted, more questions will arise. How should masks be stored when children come to class? What should be done when a child or teacher has asthma? Even if masks are not required by law, won’t this still be a problem with some of the parents? How do you make sure children don’t rub their eyes?
Kindergartens and schools want to know if they should obtain disposable toilet seats and how often to disinfect common toys and surfaces touched by children.
And if I sneeze ...?
Teachers admit they are afraid of being held responsible if a child becomes ill. They emphasize teacher’s cards have a new provision (introduced by the PiS government) that puts the responsibility on them. The problem is, “personal interest” is not fully defined. “It might be enough for a parent to complain that I was sneezing while running classes, which made his child sick. And I face a disciplinary matter.” – a kindergarten teacher tells us.
The heads of Krakow kindergartens are demanding the Ministry of Education introduce top-down detailed rules on how to behave and what to observe when facilities are opened for the youngest children. A letter with their questions is to be sent to the Małopolska school superintendent. “We hope that the curator will pass it on.” – they say.
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