Third of teachers worried about schools reopening
Over a third of primary school teachers consider it irresponsible for schools to reopen on May 11. They think the government should have waited for the results of an RIVM study into the coronavirus contamination risks among children and teenagers before deciding to reopen schools, according to a representative survey by DUO and AD among 1,250 teachers.
The teachers are worried of contracting the coronavirus, or infecting their pupils. Almost a quarter said they have no confidence in the Outbreak Management Team's claim that children hardly ever transmit the coronavirus. "Our research show that there is a lot of unease. Is this the right decision? And why did the government not wait for the RIVM study?" Researcher Vincent van Grinsven said to AD.
69 percent of teachers are surprised that the government did not wait for the RIVM study. More than half agree with the government's decision to reopen schools, but they too think the decision was made too early. "The primary schools must reopen so that they can see what happens to the infections," one respondent said, adding that they feel like a guinea pig. "I am not afraid for myself for a second, but I am afraid for my colleagues and the children."
Despite the concerns, 93 percent of primary school teachers will return to class on May 11. Only 4 percent said they wouldn't be returning, and 3 percent are still unsure. These mainly involve teachers who are at high risk of a coronavirus infection themselves, or have vulnerable family members.
The general association of school leaders AVS is worried that keeping 1.5 meters apart will not be enough to protect teachers and pupils when the schools reopen next week, spokesperson Petra van Haren said to the Telegraaf. The association therefore wants teachers to use masks and other protective gear. Teachers should be able to decide for themselves whether they need to wear gloves and a mask, but this option must be available to them, Van Haren said.