Schools unlikely to open in Spain as planned

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Schools unlikely to open in Spain as planned
Schools unlikely to open in Spain as planned

Moncloa will hold a conference of regional presidents to address the issue one week before children are due to return to school.

The Government feels that the 2020-2021 school year will not start as planned. The impossibility of guaranteeing all security measures in the midst of a wave of further outbreaks and the lack of consensus between the Autonomous Communities and the Ministry of Health, will make it difficult for children to return to the classroom, almost 6 months after being sent home.

Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, will hold a conference of regional presidents at the end of the month to exclusively address such educational issues. Sources from Moncloa point out that this meeting could be held on 27 or 28 of this month, with schools scheduled to reopen just a week later. Thus, it will not be possible to put into practice any of the decisions that are agreed at the meeting cannot for at least a further two weeks.

Although the National Ministries decide the rules, it is the Autonomous Communities which are in charge of managing education. They have been working for days on different action plans although, in some cases, as in Catalonia, the Ministry of Health and teachers complain that they have not been consulted about the protocol.

As such, according to government sources, it is more likely that children will return either the second or third week of September, by which time security measures and distances should be guaranteed. This will mean the use of other areas, such as the gymnasium or multipurpose rooms as classrooms, as well as the division of lessons by time slots, so that students do not meet during the school day.

The Autonomous Communities and the Ministry of Education, led by the Isabel Celaá, have been discussing the matter for weeks together with the Ministry of Health, which, since it is a health issue, will have the last word on authorising the return of children to school activities.

Another issue that the Ministry of Education will propose is the hiring of more teachers and educational personnel to cover all the hours that children will be in the schools and colleges.

But the final decision will be with the Autonomous Communities. Beyond the restrictions that the Ministry of Health may impose, in the fight against the pandemic, the Education departments of the different autonomies will carry out the planning as well as adopting the necessary measures so that the beginning of the academic year is can get underway as soon as possible without incident.

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