By Ram Karki, The Hague.
Amidst the atmosphere of fear and nervousness among the parents and staffs all the Primary Schools in The Netherlands has been reopened from today 11 May 2020, after 8 weeks of its closure due to coronavirus pandemic. Dutch Cabinet on 21 April 2020 in its infamous press conference announced the reopening of all the primary schools from 11 May 2020 in the country.
As per the communications from our kids school it will open 4 days a week that is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The students of each class is divided equally into two groups and the students of each group will attend 2 days a week. For example our son’s class have 31 kids and they have divided it into 2 group namely Blue and Yellow. Blue have 14 kids whereas yellow have 15 kids in their group. Blue attends on Monday and Thursday whereas Yellow attends on Tuesday and Friday.
Except special primary schools which reopens as normal, most primary schools will adopt a hybrid approach of opening like operating a full day timetable, classes are being divided into two, with half the children being taught on one day and the other half the next day while some school see half the children attending school in the morning and the rest in the afternoon.
As per another instruction from the school to the parents, children and staffs with slightest of symptoms like runny nose, cold, sneezing, throat pain, cough and fever should not go to school. They can attend the school only after 24 hours of disappearance of such symptoms. Normal norms like frequently hand washing, sneezing in elbow, no handshaking etc should be always followed. No parents are allowed to enter the school compound. 1.5 meter social distancing norms will not be enforced to the students. Teachers and Staffs with coronavirus symptoms will be tested on priority basis and should stay at home.
School staffs and children with extra vulnerable family members working in vital sectors exposed to coronavirus should with due consultation with school stay home.
Education Minister Mr. Arie Slob in one of his interview said that the reopening of school made him both happy and sad. Happy in the sense that schools could be reopened after 8 weeks of uncertainty and sad because it is not yet a normal situation for smooth running of schools. He further said that a huge risk is involved thus cannot be guaranteed anything for now. As per various researches Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has concluded that children gets less sick, gets less infected and spread virus insignificantly and thats why they advised the cabinet to open the school at this time said Mr. Slob.
As per the cabinet decision all the secondary schools will be reopening from 2 June and schools for secondary vocational education is likely to be reopened from 15 June 2020.
The Netherlands with its 17 million population has been under intelligent lockdown since 15 March 2020 and the country first detected COVID-19 positive to a 57 years old Dutch man on 27 February 2020.
As of 10 May 2020 The Netherlands have 42,627 COVID-19 positive, 11,307 were admitted to hospitals and 5440 death as per RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment). RIVM announced today (10 May 2020) the death of 18 people, 245 COVID-19 positive and 22 hospitalised in the last 24 hours.