Education Minister relieved as kids head back to primary school: photos
Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education is relieved that primary schools can open again eight weeks after closing due to the coronavirus crisis, even if for only half of pupils at a time. While most schools are well prepared, he still expects that there will be some problems here and there. "I think that's inevitable, but of course we hope it all goes well," Slob said to NOS.
"Eight weeks is of course a huge time. But on the other hand I also have a bit of mixed feelings, because this is still not the normal situation," Slob aid. "They will be working with a 50 percent occupancy in primary education and special education will open up completely, with all kinds of precautions. That is quite exciting."
Slob stressed that the Ministry will keep monitoring the situation at primary schools. Measures may be relaxed more in the near future, he said, but it is also possible that they will be tightened again.
Schools throughout the Netherlands took various measures to make sure classes, hallways and playgrounds aren't too crowded. Kids don't have to keep 1.5 meters apart, but they must keep their distance from teachers as much as possible. Hallways were divided into "lanes", desks were removed and moved further apart.
At the Gelderlandschool in The Hague, wipes are provided so that desks and benches can be cleaned on a regular basis. Pupils have to use their own stationary and other supplies. And the teachers' space was marked with yellow.
The school is delighted to have pupils back again. "It is a bit festive, we have really been looking forward to it," director Miranda van de Kolk said to NOS. "We have seen the pupils online and sometimes here when they came to get stuff. But that is really different from seeing them at school."
On social media, parents describe an emotional morning as they dropped their kids off at school for the first time in eight weeks. Emotions ranged from excitement to tears as kids disappeared into the school buildings.
Eerste schooldag. Traantje gelaten. Mama dan. Kleuter op tientallen meter afstand lokaal in zien gaan en hij houdt zelf ook nog eens afstand tot de andere kleuter. En veegde mijn zoen af voordat hij het schoolplein op ging. 🤨 #gezagsgetrouw #coronaregels #scholenopen pic.twitter.com/F0KSZvQCpt— Charlotte Visser (@CharlotteVisser) May 11, 2020
Op de Prins Clausschool in Linschoten hebben de leerlingen van groep vijf een cadeau meegenomen voor de juf. Acht weken waren de scholen gesloten. “Gezonde spanning om weer te beginnen. pic.twitter.com/CVIlUmbmQv— Jildou van Opzeeland (@Jilnow) May 11, 2020
Kinderen zijn dolblij weer op school te zijn! Hier op basisschool De Horizon in Katwijk hebben ze halve dagen. Nu op t programma Nederlands met als eerste woord hygiëne 😅! @omroepwest #scholenopen pic.twitter.com/NjN2rIVnYb— Maikel Coomans (@maikelcoomans85) May 11, 2020
De kids vandaag weer naar school. Wat zijn ze blij! Wel raar om in een giga rij te staan ipv in de kring een boekje te lezen. Maar het is een begin! #jenaplanwittevrouwen #scholenopen pic.twitter.com/zMJE9Xbq9J— Anton van Doorn (@AntonvanDoorn) May 11, 2020