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Tough rules in place as Greek children head back to school on 14 September

Students are in for a very different kind of school year because of the new government rergulations

  • September 08, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium ministry of education greece
Source: Ministry of Education, Greece

Earlier last week, Greek Minister for Education Niki Kerameus officially announced that schools in the country will be allowed to reopen on 14 September. The new school year, however, will be unlike anything Greece has ever seen before – with a litany of different restriction in place, as well as special provisions meant to protect the lives of staff, students and families and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Returning to a new “normal”

This new school year will be markedly different when compared to previous semesters. In her statement, Minister Kerameus was eager to put the concerns of parents and teachers to rest as she explained that "This year will be a different year from the others. I completely understand your anxieties. We owe it to our children to be in their physical space, at school, with the best possible protection measures.

Our children are safer at school, where they operate by the rules, under the guidance of their valuable teachers than on the street and in the squares where they play without rules. With the protection measures at school, our children and our teachers are also protected, but our family is also protected when the child or the teacher returns from school. We are here to ensure both the good of health and that of education. We will come out of this crisis stronger.”

The anti-COVID measures envisioned by the ministry are wide-reaching and have been in preparation for months. For starters, all children and teachers will be forced to wear a mask while at school. The government has taken upon itself to provide personal protective equipment to all children and school staff as part of its prevention programme.

Furthermore, different classes will have their breaks at different times in order to limit contact and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Should even a single case in a school be detected, the entire establishment will be shut down and while the government performs contact tracing in order to prevent a massive outbreak.

Not only that, but thanks to substantial investments by the Greek government, all classes will be able to switch to distance learning mode should the need arise, thus preventing disruptions to the educational process.

Through these and other measures, the Greek government wants to make sure that it can preserve its reputation as one of the countries that best handled the pandemic and to protect all the lives they can while simultaneously causing as little disturbance as possible.

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