School starts in Romania for almost 3 mln students, but not all return to in-person classes
Almost 3 million preschoolers and students in Romania start the new school year today, September 13, but not all return to in-person classes. Schools are open in the localities where the 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate is below six per thousand inhabitants. If this threshold is exceeded, students move to online learning in that locality.
According to education minister Sorin Cimpeanu, students start the school online in 12 localities where the infection rate exceeded six per thousand inhabitants on Friday, September 10. Six of them are in the county of Satu Mare, two are in Arad county, one in Teleorman, one in Sibiu, one in Salaj, and one in Dolj.
But there are also schools with infrastructure problems where children start the new school year online, the minister said, according to Hotnews.ro. Some still have water supply problems, while others don’t have a functional heating system.
“2,400 students study in the 12 localities where the infection rate went over six per thousand inhabitants on Friday. There are also the schools that have infrastructure problems. Eight schools from Bucharest will use the online system,” minister Cimpeanu said, according to B1tv.
“There are 2,723 students in Bucharest who will have to study online this week. There are another 2,000 students in the country who, due to infrastructure problems, remain online and 2,400 in the localities where the infection rate has been exceeded. Nationwide, more than 7,000 students start the school online, at least in the first week,” he added.
The health authorities have also established a set of rules for the new school year to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. For example, classrooms should be rearranged to ensure at least a one-meter distance between the desks. Wearing a protective mask is mandatory inside the school, but not in the schoolyard, and the teaching staff and students should use the disinfectants provided by the school as often as possible. The classrooms should also be disinfected and ventilated.
Plus, in Bucharest, wearing a mask is mandatory near the schools.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Education, 193,430 employees of the national education system got vaccinated against COVID-19, representing an overall vaccination rate of 61%. Last Friday, minister Cimpeanu said that more than 15% of students also received a COVID-19 vaccine.
The 2021-2022 school year has 34 weeks, ending June 10, 2022. It has two semesters: one between September 13 and December 22, 2021, and a second one between January 10 and June 10, 2022. All students will have a winter break (which this year is also the break between semesters) from December 23, 2020, to January 9, 2022. The spring break is scheduled for April 15-May 1, 2021, while the summer break will start on June 11, 2022.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Sabin Cirstoveanu)