The Government announced this Wednesday that daycare centers, schools and universities will continue “in full operation” and maintain classroom classes, as “have been working so far”, within the scope of the new confinement.
“After listening to the educational community, the representatives of families and professionals, and especially after we have thoroughly evaluated the irrecoverable consequences for the educational process that the academic interruption of classroom activities had last year, we cannot repeat the same rule again, and for that reason, with the precautions that made the school safe, we will keep the school running “, announced the Prime Minister.
Asked whether it would be possible to reverse this decision if the levels of contagion by Covid-19 do not fall, the head of Government pointed out that “the number of outbreaks has been decreasing” in the school universe and that the first period of this school year has shown that the school “is a safe place “and” essential to the learning process “.
“We know that face-to-face teaching is fundamental for learning. Children suffered in the past school year, despite all the efforts of teachers to follow their students, by computer and home study, but nothing replaces face-to-face teaching and nothing indicates that it will go wrong “, explained António Costa. “So we are going to keep schools open.”
The decision was taken in the Council of Ministers, within the scope of a new period of national confinement, “with a duty of home removal as we had in March and April last year”, starting at 00:00 on this Friday.
Before meeting with his ministers this afternoon, Costa had said that the “great divergence” regarding this new period of confinement was about the functioning of schools, but there was still convergence about “nothing to justify the closure of schools for children. up to 12 years ”, that is, up to the 6th year of schooling.
Some experts, such as the director of the Intensive Care Service at the Hospital de São João, in Porto, argued that going further and that all schools be closed during this period.
“The current situation is so worrying that, at this point, I advocate the closure of schools in their entirety. This is something completely against my heart. I defend this because we are in a hyper-grave situation. It is preferable to put the measures all at the same time, symbolizing to the population the gravity of the moment, and then to gradually alleviate relief “, defended José Artur Paiva today.
The new restrictions are based on the ninth decree of the state of emergency since the beginning of the pandemic, which the Assembly of the Republic approved this Wednesday and which will be in force until January 30.
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