Tallinn mayor: No restrictions set for schools starting September 1

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said Tallinn schools will begin the academic year on September 1 as usual but the city is working with schools on scenarios if a second wave of the coronavirus was to come.

Kõlvart told ERR on Monday: "Currently we are going off the directives we got from the Ministry of Education. In the grand scheme, it means we will start September 1 in a traditional rhythm. There will be no limits."

The mayor added that possible scenarios with infection rates increasing have to be considered within the education system.

Kõlvart noted: "We have prepared a central plan but we must go over details with school managers. So they could also give their input. Different areas have to be assessed for schools - schedule, distance learning, logistics, personal protective equipment etc."

The Center Party deputy chairman confirmed that school will start as usual on September 1, with ceremonies also held. "Currently we are basing off the green scenario and hoping there will not be a second wave. But what is happening in other countries is making us think and we must be ready for it (the second wave - ed.)."

Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) introduced the ministry's guidelines for schools and said all schools will start the academic year as usual and no distance learning would be necessary to start.

Reps said: "The message regarding the starting of the academic year is that there is no overall need to continue learning digitally. Our numbers are very positive, we have been able to control the spread of the coronavirus but it has not disappeared from society."

The education minister added that a regional school-based local approach will be taken regarding the starting school year.

Reps said a local crisis committee will meet if 10 percent of the region's school students test positive for COVID-19. She specified that the number is an approximate because the context is different in, for example, a school with 20 children.

The minister added that schools and other similar establishments also hold the right of sending children home and can also measure body temperatures regularly.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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