TALLINN - Although Tallinn's school leaders are struggling with increasing infection among teachers, it was decided that the city's authorities will not issue a central order for schools to switch to home schooling.
Deputy Mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev on Wednesday described the situation as worrying and complicated.
"If we look at the numbers, there has been a marked increase in the numbers of infected people since children returned from the school break, both among pupils and teachers. And it is the latter that is causing the most problems for school leaders, because if there are already nine or ten infected teachers, the question is how to replace them," Belobrovtsev said.
He said that many schools have switched to partial distance learning in recent weeks.
Last week, infected students in Tallinn's schools numbered over 1,700 and teachers over 170. This week, the number of infected teachers has already grown to more than 200 and it can be seen that also the numbers of students will be bigger at the end of the week than a week earlier.
"At a meeting with school leaders on Tuesday, we decided that schools can choose their own course of action, meaning that there will be no central introduction of distance learning," Belobrovtsev said.
He added that when some time ago the city authorities decided to put all schools on distance learning at once, the move was met with a lot of criticism from the government. According to the city authorities, however, the decision was a success.
"We are not going to do it this time, and it would be too late anyway," the deputy mayor added.
Belobrovtsev noted that on the upside, the Ministry of Education and Research has found a way to provide schools with an additional supply of rapid tests by the beginning of February, which will allow schools to continue abiding by the ministry's guideline for twice-weekly testing in schools.