With the COVID-19 epidemic raging throughout the country, Education Minister Niki Kerameus has denied reports that, “The education ministry is threshing out a ‘bombshell scenario’ for closing schools on 15 November in order to stem the large wave of COVID-19 spread to children.”
The reports, which came exactly one year after the 9 November, 2020, closure of schools nationwide, stirred intense concerns.
Regarding the spread of the virus in schools, experts appear reassuring, attributing the rise in the number of reported cases to the high volume of tests (twice weekly for all students) and to the overall course of the epidemic.
From the beginning of the school year on 13 September until yesterday, the National Public Health Organisation (EODY) has recorded over 44,000 infections among youngsters up to the age of 17.
That, combined with what critics have called an “inconceivably anti-educational and dangerous for public health” merger of school classes, has triggered fear and anxiety in the educational community, which also wants to manage to keep schools open.
The ministry’s decision to shut down classes only when over 50 percent of students in a class are infected has also been strongly criticised.
Kerameus rules out suspending operation of schools
The government has steadfastly maintained that school closures are not an option, a position that Kerameus categorically confirmed in a tweet today:
“There is absolutely no discussion regarding suspending the operation of schools. Many thanks to the educational community for the exceptional enforcement of [public health] measures. Only six classes out of 80,000 have been closed down. The percentage of children in the general population that has fallen ill declined from 29 percent to 25 percent.”