Logistical problems delay reopening of some secondary schools
Despite secondary schools receiving the green light to open on Monday, not all institutions are capable of doing so, NU.nl reported. Certain schools are even unsure that they will be able to make the deadline on June 7 on which day it will become mandatory for them to welcome students again.
The reopening of secondary schools was announced last week by Minister of Education, Arie Slob. Students and teachers are required to perform a self-test twice per week to prevent a major outbreak of the coronavirus from occurring. All schools received self-test kits from the ministry for this.
Some secondary schools are struggling to set up the self-test infrastructure in their establishment. Principals are also finding it difficult to adjust the schedules and divide the classrooms given that most students will only receive on-site teaching a few days per week.
The Limburg secondary education school umbrella said that the majority of the 23 schools in their district will wait to open their doors until June 7. The secondary school umbrella, NUOVO, said that only one out of their 15 schools in Utrecht will open their doors on Monday.
“It is an enormously complex task and we have to deliver a logistical artwork to manage this”, a spokesperson for NUOVO said. The deadline on June 7 may also come too soon. “We understand that it is an obligation, but it is still quite difficult. We have to see what is possible”, the spokesperson said.
Two larger school umbrellas, the Vereniging Ons Middelbar Onderwijs (OMO) and the Carmelcollege Foundation, are slightly more optimistic. OMO expected the majority of their 68 secondary schools to open within the course of the week. Carmelcollege stated that all of their 52 schools spread across the country will open immediately on Monday, “unless that is not possible in an extraordinary case.”
The General Education Association (AOb) said they do not see the need to hastily reopen schools on Monday. “After all, these are not the most productive school weeks. They are no longer alone in their attics but looking for each other outside.”
The AOb also pointed to the pressure put on teachers that came with having to change their teaching method several times in the past year. “It is important to give schools the space to see what is possible”, the council for secondary education agreed.