A school in Pärnu County has had to switch to distance learning, after over 50 percent of both its students and teachers have either contracted the coronavirus or have been identified as close contacts, portal Delfi reports. The education ministry required in-class teaching ahead of the new academic year, which started September 1.
Director Peep Eenraid of the Audru Basic School (Audru põhikool) told Delfi (link in Estonian) that: "It is not physically possible to take classes, because there are so many sick people," adding that some teachers are off sick, and others have been replaced by distance learning or teacher-independent schoolwork.
The director added that: "Fifty percent of the students are close contacts. We don't have to give teachers in front of the class because they're sick and in isolation, too."
Eenraid said that the decision had not been an easy one, and that everything had been coordinated with the relevant agencies, while the school's online environment provides the necessary information for parents.
At the end of the summer, the Ministry of Education ruled that schools would be on contact learning, and a coronavirus case was not sufficient to make the switch to remote learning.
In the event of an infection, the sick student only would remain at home and, since they were sick, would not be engaged in schoolwork during that time.
Audru is a small town within Pärnu municipality. The school houses 304 students and 25 teachers, Delfi reports.
The original Delfi article (in Estonian) is here.
Editor: Andrew Whyte