School students will have to observe general distancing requirements in gyms, canteens, hallways - Education Ministry

  • 2020-07-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In public areas in schools - gyms, canteens, hallways - the general distancing requirements will apply, while in classrooms, the requirements will only have to be observed if there is enough room, the Education and Science Ministry told LETA.

According to the Health Ministry, local governments and school principals will receive individual support from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control if Covid-19 incidence increases or if a student or a teacher tests positive for Covid-19, the Education and Science Ministry also told LETA.

In the meantime, the current restrictions in kindergartens, student camps and adult education institutions will remain unchanged.

As reported, the Education and Science Ministry is not planning to set a concrete Covid-19 intensity rate at which schools would have to switch from in-person instruction to distance learning as the ministry wants to leave that decision to each local government to take, Inga Vanaga, the leader of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA), told LETA on Tuesday.

Vanaga said that the Education and Science Ministry had a meeting with various social partners and experts on Tuesday to discuss draft government regulations for organizing the teaching process, which are expected to come into effect on August 1.

Vanaga indicated that the trade union and the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments wanted it to be decided on the national level - in what situations schools should fully or partly switch to distance learning, but the Education and Science Ministry has decided to leave it to local authorities to decide. Each local government would thus have to decide what epidemiological situation would require suspending in-person instruction.

"This plan B has been put on the shoulders of school administrations and local authorities. They even have to decide for themselves whether it is necessary to switch to plan B," Vanaga said.