The Ministries of Health, Education and Vocational Training and Universities This Tuesday they hold a joint meeting with the councilors of the autonomous communities to address the return to the classrooms after the Christmas holidays. Except for last minute surprise, students will return to classes in person on January 10, although taking all precautionary measures due to the advance of the sixth wave of COVID-19.
This will be, predictably, the main decision to be adopted in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System, in a Extraordinary meeting convened together with the Education Sector Conference and the General Conference on University Policy in La Moncloa.
The appointment, which will be one of the first meetings for the new Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats, will also be attended by a representative of the Ministry of Territorial Policy.
The Government and the communities will propose a face-to-face tour
As Efe has been able to verify after consulting the position of all the autonomous communities before the meeting, the joint bet is to return to the classrooms in person on January 10.
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, already made it clear last week that the education model in a pandemic is the presence in the classrooms and explained that the “objective” is to continue working in favor of this presence in the centers.
The latest data provided by the Ministry of Education, corresponding to December 23, indicate that only the 1.58% of classrooms were confined before the holidays, when the omicron variant had just begun to infect, which broke in after the Constitution bridge (in the week of December 13-17).
In addition, sources from the Ministry of Health highlight that, to date, a third of the child population (between 5 and 12 years old) you already have the first vaccine regimen against the coronavirus, so the forecast that Education manages is that, around the Christmas holidays, the number of infections will drop.
Below is a detail of what the autonomous communities will propose in the Interterritorial Council for Education:
The president of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced a few days ago that her Ministry of Education was studying two plans for the return to schools after Christmas: one, without changes, and the other with “blended learning” for students in higher grades (3rd and 4th ESO and Baccalaureate).
Finally, it has determined attendance at all educational stages, after analyzing the current data on the incidence of the coronavirus and the forecasts for the coming weeks. The educational centers must maintain the measures that were put in place at the beginning of the course, such as the mandatory use of mask from the age of six or the figure of the COVID-19 coordinator.
In the case of the mask, its use is once again mandatory in the recess after the decision of the Government of Pedro Sánchez to retake it outdoors since last December 24.
The Andalusian Government will defend the return to the classroom on the 10th, following the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health and Families. As announced, in general, especially in Infant and Primary and at the university level, it will not be necessary to do quarantines of entire classrooms
For its part, Aragón rules out a delay in returning to educational centers because it defends that the situation is better than last year and that schools have proven “to be safe places, of detection and not of transmission.” In this community, 31 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have received at least one dose.
Asturias considers that classrooms should be “the last spaces to close and the first to open up “since, despite the virulence of the current wave of infections, the rate of vaccination in this age group” is going faster than expected. “
The Balearic Government will also ask that the school year begin normally and following the planned calendar, since it understands that schools are safe environments and that they have even helped cut the transmission chains. The Balearic Islands maintain that contagions in the classrooms are minimal and that, if there are positives, most have occurred outside of educational centers.
Cantabria is committed to returning to the classroom on January 10 for all levels and stages. According to data from the Ministry of Education, they have been in COVID-19 quarantine or close contacts 168 groups of the 2,721 nursery and primary education in this community, representing 6.17 percent of the total.
Castilla la Mancha
Castilla-La Mancha will defend this Tuesday the presence in education and not delay the start dates of classes, although its intention is that there is a common position and that a joint decision be taken.
The Minister of Education, Rosa María Rodríguez, insists that face-to-face training is a priority and that the digital it should only be a complement to certain specific situations that occurs in a classroom.
Castile and Leon
Castilla y León advocates presence and maintains the expected return date, while at the same time betting on preventive measures, including the CO2 meters in classrooms, the physical distance of one meter and ventilation.
Despite the record figures of 128,000 weekly infections, Catalonia has the will to maintain the maximum possible normality in the return to classes and, therefore, rule out a postponement of the date beginning of the second trimester, as requested by some sector unions of Education.
In Catalonia, 23% of children aged 5 to 11 They already have the first dose of the vaccine and half of those 12 to 15 have the full schedule, while 34% of essential workers (including teachers) have received the third dose.
From the Valencian Community they assure that they will do what the authorities say, as before, so for nowor there are no changes regarding back to the classrooms, according to the Minister of Education, Vicent Marzà. In this community, the immunization of teaching staff is being reinforced, with third doses.
The Extremadura Government is also in favor of maintaining the current calendar and returning to classes in person, because it is a right and because of the importance of the socialization of students in their educational stage. For this reason, the Ministry of Education and Health work together to make “a return to school” with the face-to-face format safe.
The Galician Executive is committed to maintaining the scheduled date and does not see problems with the current data on infections or with the pediatric vaccination schedules, since it believes that the week of the beginning of the course they could be vaccinated with the first dose 90% of children between 5 and 11 years.
Also the idea of the Government of La Rioja is that all students return to classrooms on the scheduled date, January 10.
Similarly, Murcia will propose returning to classes in person at all stages and levels during the meeting.
Navarra, the most affected community Due to the sixth wave of the coronavirus, it will defend the return to classes in full in all training cycles.
His Education counselor, Carlos Gimeno, will attend the meeting, albeit electronically since he is confined to his home after testing positive.
The Basque Government is committed to the face-to-face return in the classrooms, security measures in place before the stoppage derived from the Christmas holidays.
However, sources consulted have specified that they will listen to the positions that are raised tomorrow and that throughout the week will analyze the data with the Ministry of Health on the evolution of the pandemic to address the return to classes.
The cities of Ceuta and Melilla are not included in the list because educational competencies have not been transferred.
The educational community, against delaying the return
So much students as parents, teachers and schools, demonstrated this Monday against delaying the return to classes after Christmas. “If work is returning to normality and many students are already being vaccinated, there is no reason to delay the return of the students,” Andrea Henry, president of the State Confederation of Student Associations (CANAE), assured Europa Press.
Also parents’ associations such as the Confederation of Parents of Students (COFAPA) and the National Catholic Confederation of Parents and Students (CONCAPA) are in favor of returning to classrooms on the scheduled dates, but they ask for more measures and information about the vaccination campaign.
For its part, unions such as CCOO, CSIF, UGT and STES They have asked to reinforce anti-COVID measures and for the replacement of infected teachers to be more effective.
“For us, the debate is not to delay or not the return to classes, but to put the necessary means and resources to guarantee a safe presence“Francisco García (CCOO) has said.” The vaccination of children and adolescents and the booster dose for Education workers should be promoted, “says Maribel Loranca (UGT), who also demands consensual measures between the Government and autonomous communities .
Europe resumes classes
The irruption of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Europe and the consequent record of infections that it has caused in most countries it will not affect in principle the resumption of classesSince there are already several governments that have reaffirmed the planned schedule and have limited themselves to introducing minor changes in the sanitary protocol.
Tests and masks have become key elements in most protocols to contain a possible spike in infections in countries such as France, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands.