Majority of teachers are against primary schools reopening completely

Kids raising their hands in class
Kids raising their hands in classPhoto: luminastock/DepositPhotos

Only 29 percent of teachers in mainstream primary education support the plan to reopen primary schools completely on June 8, if the coronavirus remains under control, according to a poll by education union AOb among 8 thousand teachers. The partial reopening of primary schools on May 11 had the support of 72 percent of teachers, AD reports.

The teachers are worried that keeping 1.5 meters away from pupils and colleagues will prove impossible once classes are full again, according to the union. Teachers are already struggling with this with only half of pupils at school at a time, AOb said to the newspaper.

Almost all of the surveyed teachers were working this week. Of teachers who are in a risk group for the coronavirus or have vulnerable family members, 76 percent were working. According to AOb chairman Euginie Stolk, teachers really want to be at school and teaching. "But if they have to work in a full class, there is a chance that they will stay at home." The Netherlands is already facing a teacher shortage. If more teachers can't work, there are concerns about how all the classes will be handled. 

Among school leaders there is slightly more support for reopening schools completely, at 42 percent. They think it is important that all children receive lessons.