New figures came out today showing that 12,000 children aged 5 to 9 years nationwide tested positive in the past week. There are 17,000 infections between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
The rising number of infections means that teachers and school leaders are struggling with how to deal with the situation. A poll by the Teachers’ Collective among more than 2000 teachers shows that 75% of teachers need national measures to reduce the number of infections in primary schools. This is to prevent schools from having to close for a longer period of time.
CNV Education agrees with the outcome. “We notice that there are almost no substitutes to be found, parents who work and have questions. Education is already being overloaded at the moment. And then there is also Rutte’s advice to adhere to the rules and to watch. what you can do yourself to prevent infections. With this you ask a lot from the schools,” says Woestenberg.
As an example, Woestenberg mentions that discussions often take place within the team and with parents about the approach. “What I hear from the field is that these discussions are often not pleasant. We should not have those discussions. That is why we argued for the cabinet to make clear choices for education.”
The cabinet has listened. The OMT (Outbreak Management Team) notes that children are increasingly involved in outbreaks and clusters of corona cases. In combination with the advice of the OMT and the call from education to create more clarity, the cabinet is now coming up with an additional elaboration of the basic rules.
Extra basic education rules
In addition to the already applicable rules, team meetings must take place online, parents and / or caregivers do not come into the school, unless there is really no other option. Celebrations, such as Sinterklaas, must also take place without external attendees.
In addition, everyone with complaints stays at home until a negative test result is received. Children of primary school age continue to be able to go to school with minor complaints, such as a runny nose. They must be quarantined if a roommate, or other close contact, has tested positive.
Booster shot a solution?
The CNV is happy with the additional rules, but at the same time there are still wishes on the table. “A booster shot for teachers, especially in the older target group, would be very welcome. There are already people over sixty who are afraid to stand in front of a class. Also, at eighty percent of primary schools, the ventilation is still not in order. that should improve quickly,” says Woestenberg.
Other options are also on the table for those involved in education. Like extending the Christmas holidays. “There is talk of a kind of hybrid form in which you also teach online. But that is extra burdensome for the teacher. Teachers prefer to teach at school,” says Woestenberg.
Sending home is the last step
At primary school De Aquarel in Zwolle they have also had to send classes home in recent times. “Sometimes there is hardly any replacement. The very last step is to send children home,” says director Henriëtte Tijssen.
Arco Harink is a teacher of group eight: “So far I have been lucky and have not been ill, but many students have. We do miss the visits to secondary schools”. The director adds: “The children from different classes no longer have joint activities and parents are no longer allowed in. All to prevent a lockdown”.