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Greece shuts down primary schools, kindergartens Nov 16-30

Greece will shut down primary schools, kindergartens and nursing schools for two weeks starting on Monday, November 16, 2020, authorities announced Saturday noon. Operation of special schools will continue.

The government insists that the closure is not due to spread of the coronavirus among the school children but in order to limit movement and crowding of parents.

“Intense movement by parents has been observed,” Health Minister Vasislis Kikilias said during the announcement live on TV. He added that the closure maybe lead to decrease of infections.

Education Minister Niki Kerameos said that the schools and kindergartens closure is in effect from November 16 until November 30, 2020.

There will be tele-education and education via the state broadcaster ERT.

Program on ERT 2 will be launched at 9:00 a.m. on Monday

Tele-education will start on Wednesday, Nov 18. Each education “hour” will last 30 minutes.

For primary schools education is scheduled 02:00 pm – 05:00 pm

For kindergartens: 02:00 pm – 04:20 pm

The e-classes will include 10-minute breaks.

Keramwos said that education at early afternoon hours has been chosen for two reaosns:

1) to facilitate families, either because they have older children who will have distance learning in the morning or because the parents are teleworking, and also all use devices for distance work or education;

2) to limit the simultaneous use of all networks by pupils, students, employees and so on.

She reiterated that the closure is for pure preventive reasons.

It is reminded that, as long as someone connects to the platforms used by the ministry for e-learning, there will be no data charge. It is also possible to connect to the distance learning platform and via landline at local charge.

Interior Minister Theodoriakos said for parents working in the public sector and with children up to 15 years old may work part time or make use of the “special purpose vacation.”

For private sector parents, he did not say anything.

Secondary education schools were shut down together with the launch of the lockdown with the justification that “teenagers are more socially active.”

The decision to close primary schools and kindergartens follows health experts recommendations as the country sees a constant spike of coronavirus infections, deaths and intubations, putting the health system under immense pressure.

PS I thought pre-school kids would enjoy a nap in the afternoon – usually…

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