Over 7,000 group 8 pupils in Amsterdam will have lessons at the school after the Christmas holidays. 220 Amsterdam primary schools still feel surprised by a late cabinet decision, which they now want to avoid.
According to elementary schools, January is an important month for students in their last year of school. “Besides the fact that they’ve already been home for two closings, there must be a school board and past tests that guide that board. And also, just choose the look of a new school, end the year. with your other classmates, to this end, to stay at a good level to be able to take the next step. So logical that you say: this group is vulnerable “, explains Eva Naaijkens, principal of the school Alan Turing in Amsterdam.
All schools in the Netherlands will be closed at least until Sunday January 9, as was announced at the latest press conference by outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and outgoing Minister Hugo de Jonge. On January 3, the wardens’ cabinet will consider whether schools can reopen after the Christmas break.
D66 MP Paul van Meenen thinks this is a good plan. “Of course that’s important for these kids, in an important year. And physical education is the best, I know from experience.” Although he can imagine crooked faces in other cities. “But the space schools can take in other places is the same. Let’s do whatever is safe.” He calls for a national scheme.
I don’t like to see that some children are at home and others go to school.
VVD MEP Mariëlle Paul is not satisfied with the intention of Amsterdam primary schools. “We cannot yet say whether it makes sense to open the schools at that time. That is why expert advice is only given a short time in advance, if we know what the virus at that time. We are awaiting this advice and it would be wise if the schools in Amsterdam waited for this advice as well. “
“Of course, many positive signals have been given around the omikron,” says epidemiologist Amrish Baidjoe, but he is not yet very positive about the new variant. “We really have to wait and see. It is still too early. Let the current infections first decrease a bit more first. Then there is room to experiment with new ways to safely open schools or schools. other sectors. “
He wants schools to think about a responsible reopening with GGD and OMT. “Think about a lot of attention to ventilation, and start with CO2 meters in the classroom and open and closed windows. See if mouth-nose masks can be used. Use smaller classrooms or larger spaces. Classes are not equal to 100 percent and in the prioritize education of students who are doing very poorly in homeschooling. “
Healthy at school
Head of school Naaijkens qualifies the Amsterdam plan as an “emergency measure” and prefers to ask all children to go to school for 2 to 3 days. “Open the school halfway so that we serve all the students. I don’t like to see some children sitting at home and others going to school. We need to think more carefully: what could we do to work halfway on some way to get kids to school.
She thinks there is a lack of good metrics at school right now. “It would be great if the discussion took place at the national level. All children should benefit from it. They are entitled to it. So look at how we can go to school in a healthy way. Monk’s hats, ventilation, etc. Now, “we’re stuck in the discussion. And ad hoc measures are just very bad. It doesn’t provide the security and structure that we should be aware of in education.”
At the start of this year, schools in Amsterdam also chose to allow children in group 8 to come to school during lockdown, according to letters from school boards. At the time, the municipality backed the councils to “take up space within guidelines for physically teaching eighth graders.” Second, it did not apply to all eighth graders, but only vulnerable students.
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