Secondary schools want students to get on-site lessons once a week
VO-Raad, the council for secondary schools, wants students to get on-site education at least once a week from March 1. Schools who cannot achieve this with social distancing measures in place should be able to rent rooms externally, for example in theaters, cinemas or hotels, the council said to NOS and AD, adding that the government should make funds available for this.
"As long as schools have to deal with the 1.5 meters rule, they have a problem with available space," a VO-Raad spokesperson said to NOS.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge promised to give an update on when secondary schools can reopen at the next coronavirus press conference on Tuesday. Given the developments in the spread of the coronavirus, the VO-Raad does not expect much more relaxations in the coronavirus rules. The secondary schools' council therefore wants the situation to return to that of before the summer holidays last week, when kids were allowed to go to school on average one day a week and follow distance learning on the other days.
Secondary schools have been closed to most students since mid-December. VO-Raad is concerned about the students' mental health. "They will soon have been at home for ten weeks, there are many concerns about their well-being," VO-Raad chairman Paul Rosenmoller said. "The cabinet is now looking at what is still possible at school. We believe that a different question should be asked: What will it take to open the schools?"
On Wednesday, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer joined the call to reopen secondary schools as quickly as possible. "The socio-emotional and mental damage of the corona measures and lockdown is so great for young people that it is not justified from a development perspective to keep secondary schools closed any longer," she said. "My job is to promote respect for the rights of children and young people. I see that in addition to the right to education, the right to development as a whole is also under serious pressure."