Andalucía signs up to national deal to get kids back to school

A school in Fuengirola being disinfected.
A school in Fuengirola being disinfected. / SUR
  • Central government and regional Education ministers agreed on a series of conditions, including the use of masks and handwashing five times a day, which will see all pupils up to 14 return to the classroom

Agreement was reached on Thursday between central government and the regional ministers of Education to get school children back into classrooms from next month. There had been increasing discontent with regional inconsistencies.

In a route map signed up to by all 17 regions except the Basque Country, standard guidelines included: opening all schools on the agreed dates; full time on-site teaching for pupils up to at least 14 (2nd year ESO); compulsory mask wearing over six years; hand washing at least five times a day; a Covid coordinator in each school; and a recommendation to create peer bubbles beyond Primary students.

For children over 14, it is up to each school to decide the amount of remote learning.

The Andalucía regional government, responsible for ‘state’ schooling in Malaga province, has signed up to the guidelines.

Local schools get ready

The regional minister for Education, Javier Imbroda, said after the virtual meeting with Madrid that going to school was a right and that parents had to send their children from six years onwards.

“I understand the concern and fear of families, but I want to get over that we are working to make sure that all our children can get back into the classroom safely.”

He added that when positive cases are detected, “the group will be isolated and tracing of contacts carried out. Where the number of cases is high, then the next stage will be closing a classroom, school or whatever is appropriate”.