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Greece reopens schools for older students, primary & kindergartens closed

Greece’s Education Minister Niki Kerameos presented on Wednesday the plan of reopening of schools amid the pandemic. The re-opening will be gradual for Lyceum and high school students on May 11 and 18, while elementary schools and pre-schools (kindergartens) may not open at all for the rest of the school year.

The exams for university entrance will start on June 15 for Lyceum students and on June 16 for vocational school students.

The reopening after almost 10 weeks of closure will take place under strict rules of hygiene and distancing: Maximum 15 students will be in a classroom, 1.5-meter distance between them is a must.

May 11: students of the 3rd Lyceum will return to the classrooms.

May 18: students of the A ‘and B’ Lyceum and all Gymnasium grades will return to schools.

The running school year will be extended for high schools and lyceums until June 12.

The new school year 2020-21 will probably start earlier for everyone on September 1st.

Suspension of primary schools and kindergartens operation will continue. Keramos noted that “the possibility of opening them on June 1 is being examined,” and this will take place “only if we are absolutely sure that the course of the epidemic is going downwards.”

However, she stressed that if primary schools and kindergartens reopen this year, the possibility of extending the year until June 30 is being considered.

Operation of schools open on May 11 and 18 will take place in “rotating sub-departments (resulting from the division of one class into two) in order to reduce congestion within the same room.

The distance between students should be 1.5 m and the maximum number of students in a class is limited to 15.

Where classes are small, up to 15 students, they will be able to operate daily.

There will be a home study program for the days when students will not be in school.

Special purpose permits continue in both the public and private sectors for parents with children in educational structures that remain suspended.

There will be antiseptics in schools and natural ventilation. Cleaning will be provided twice a day.

Different breaks will be provided for students.

The canteens will be closed.

The use of mask will be optional in the classroom and in the means of transporting students.

There will be special care (provision of leave) for teachers who fall into the category for special leave

There will be the possibility of an innumerable absence for students who have a special reason (based on a parent / guardian statement about the existence of a vulnerable person at home or in the case of a person who is ill.

There will be a live broadcast of the course through e-learning for those students who have a special reason for absence from school.

There will be no promotion or graduation exams.

Student evaluation will be based on four-month grades.

Tutoring centers will operate with the same scheme as the gradual reopening of schools.

Foreign language courses will resume on May 18.

Same rules of social distancing will apply also for tutorial and foreign language schools.

Suspension of special schools operation is extended, Minister Kerameos said.

She added that the university exams program will be published soon.

For higher education institutions:

e-learning will continue

possibility for labs/clinical exercises as of May 25

Exams will take place after instructions by the National Committee and the academic semester will conclude as normally scheduled.

Greece is preparing for gradual lockdown lifting on May 4.

PS For the 2 Lyceum classes and Gymnasium there is much ado about practically nothing, as the students will hardy manage to attend classes for longer than 10-14 days.

If the pressure to re-open schools was so that parents return to work, it would make more sense for kindergartens and primary schools, as these children cannot stay at home alone.

But as Health Organization spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras said during the briefing today “children are not considered as able to infect an adult with coronavirus” implying that grandparents can do children-sitting again.

So all the TV spots urging grannies and grandpas to stay away from their beloved grandchildren in the last two months were probably waste of time… *rolling eyes*

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