Tallinn schools plan to curb coronavirus by dispersing students

Classroom. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

Schools in Tallinn are trying to curb the coronavirus pandemic by dispersing the students within and without the school premises. Older students may engage in remote learning on a daily or weekly basis, and the city's authorities say they will ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) and body temperature-measuring equipment will be put in place.

One school, Tallinn School No. 21, is undergoing ordinary preparations for an unusual start of the coming school year, ETV current news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported Wednesday night.

"The lunch breaks are going to take place over three time slots in an hour. We will not be able to use the school bell, because lessons start at a very different time for different classes. Also, in a school like ours with 1,400 students, it will prove difficult to disperse the students within the school, so we are going to try using remote learning and ensuring students move around less," the school's principal, Meelis Kond, said.

The Old Town Educational College (Vanalinna Hariduskolleegium - Gümnaasium) principal Alar Saare said that with part of the high school, and the senior level at basic school - the seventh to the ninth grades - will start studies in the new academic year on the basis of a "2+1" scheme.

This means that students go to school for two weeks, then receive assignments at home for a week. "This is how we have planned the entire first study period until the end of the first semester," he said.

For younger classes, daily contact studying is going to viable, albeit with some variations, for example using a four-day school week.

Tallinn City government has sent its recommendations to Tallinn schools on how to organize school work in these circumstances, leaving the schools the freedom to decide most aspects on their own. However, the city requires all schools to be provided with PPE.

According to Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vadim Belobrovtsev (Center), the city plans to offer masks or visors, disinfectants and to place temperature measuring devices at every school.

Nationally, schools are planning to start the new academic year on the traditional date of September 1 - next Tuesday - with attendance in-school. From late March to the end of the last school year, most classes at all schools were taught remotely online, meaning the majority of schoolchildren in Estonia have barely seen the inside of a school building for over five months.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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