Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Coronavirus: primary schools have opened in much of Germany


In ten of the sixteen provinces, the institutional system of day care and primary education has been relaunched. Due to the federal system, other solutions are used almost everywhere. In some provinces, the system is made up of a mixture of distance learning and direct education based on a direct student-teacher relationship, in others it is only an option and not an obligation to appear in school lessons. However, there are a number of common elements, including the rule of wearing a permanent mask.

According to an agreement reached between the provincial governments and the federal government in mid-February, each province will decide independently, and there is no need to coordinate steps. The Berlin leadership welcomed the gradual resumption of public education in most places. Education based on the personal presence of teachers and students cannot be replaced by other methods, and children need a contemporary community, especially the smallest ones, said Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek.

The federal government is working to contribute to the sustainable operation of the system. So, as early as Monday, negotiations will begin on whether educators and teachers will be placed higher on the priority list governing the implementation of the vaccination campaign from the third to the second group, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn announced.

For the time being, in addition to kindergartens and primary schools, the national closure that has frozen most areas of social and economic life since mid-December remains. The heads of the federal and provincial governments will discuss on March 3 to continue the defense. Relaxation of restrictions can begin no earlier than March 8th.

The federal government has pledged to develop a strategy for the March 3 meeting on a possible timetable for opening. According to press reports on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, at a presidency meeting of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said they would focus on three areas. They will compile a package of regulations governing personal relationships with each other at risk of infection, an action plan for the education system, and a third package for restarting the system of mass sports, hospitality, and cultural institutions.

Chancellor Helge Braun stressed that it should be noted that several indicators of the spread of the new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have deteriorated in recent days, and the spread of more infectious mutations threatens the results of the defense so far.

According to the Robert Koch Institute of Public Health (RKI) on Monday, 4369 new infections have been registered in the last 24 hours. This is a minimal decrease from 4426 a week earlier. Together with the newly registered infections, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in 2,390,928 people. In connection with the disease caused by the virus (Covid-19), 62 deaths were registered in one day, bringing the number of victims of the epidemic to 67,903 in Germany.

Cover image source: Peter Kneffel / picture alliance via Getty Images





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