Many teachers worried about full reopening of secondary schools
Many teachers are concerned about the possible total reopening of secondary schools in the week of May 31, as they think it may be too early for such a step, according to the a survey by the CNV labor union’s education workers education union showed. Only a minority of 15% said they were feeling enthusiastic about schools fully reopening.
Last week it was announced that Cabinet ministers were aiming for a reopening of the schools in the week of May 31. The social distancing between pupils could then also be abolished, as it was suggested that it can not effectively be practiced in schools. The final decision is expected to be made within days.
Some 28.5% of the teachers said that schools should only reopen once they have been vaccinated against coronavirus. About 26% stated they did not yet feel it was safe to reopen schools. In addition, another 19% said they were concerned about the continuity of education because they foresaw more quarantines and a higher rate of worker absenteeism.
Per capita, teenagers between 13 and 17 have consistently had the second highest rate of new coronavirus infections, according to data from the RIVM.
Still, pediatrician Károly Illy argued it was urgent that the schools reopen quickly, Nieuwsuur reported. The doctor is also a member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) and said that homeschooling has had a negative effect on the mental health of many Dutch children.
"In practice, I see children who suffer from this every day. Children who have crawled into their shells, who have become more gloomy, who are not themselves," Illy told Nieuwsuur.
A high 72 percent of teachers who participated in the survey said they have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19. Illy acknowledged the concerns of the teachers but said that most older teachers have already had the chance to receive a jab. Additionally, the vaccination of many teachers from medical risk groups was currently underway, he said.
Teacher Henk-Jan Dozeman from RSG Pantarijn said he thinks vaccination is a prerequisite to be able to return to normal teaching. According to the physics teacher, schools are already too busy even now when they are open only several days a week.
"It is just as busy here as on King's Day, with the only difference that there is no drinking and singing here," he argued.
The Outbreak Management Team is expected to come out with a new recommendation for the Cabinet regarding secondary education on Friday.