Groehling Wants to Present Another Proposal to Reopen Schools by December 23

Education Minister Branislav Groehling (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 1 (TASR) – I want to present another proposal for the return of pupils to schools before Christmas, by December 23, Education, Science, Research and Sports Minister Branislav Groehling (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) stated on Tuesday following the meeting of the central crisis management team, which didn’t approve the plan for the return of pupils to schools.

The minister confirmed that schools won’t open on Monday, December 7 and added that the crisis management team gave them the task of revising the plan. “We need the cooperation of several ministries. I believe that after this meeting they will be cooperative and we’ll be able to amend individual decrees or laws and then we’ll be able to draft a proposal,” said the education minister. He believes that children could then return to schools on January 8, 2021.

According to the head of the Education Ministry, there were several reservations about their plan presented by the members of the crisis management team. “We as the Education Ministry aren’t able to contract health workers or do other tasks with them, we need the cooperation of several ministries for that. Even local governments can’t do this on their own,” he stated.

Groehling went on to say that that other objections were raised in connection with the voluntary nature of the testing. He confirmed that the voluntary nature of the testing was a long-discussed topic during the negotiations.

Second-level pupils at primary schools have been learning remotely since October 26. Secondary school students are also being educated at home. University students will be studying remotely until the end of the winter term. The only children still attending facilities are first-level pupils at primary schools and children who go to nursery school.