95% of schools fully open on Monday: Ministry
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science expects that 95 percent of secondary schools in the Netherlands to be fully open on Monday. The majority of schools that were reluctant to reopen last week will do so now, following talks with the Education Inspectorate and the Ministry, NOS reported.
Until last Friday, the Inspectorate received 193 reports about schools that were refusing to meet the June 7 deadline. Many cited concerns about not all school staff members being vaccinated against Covid-19 yet. Others pointed out that summer vacation was starting soon. Some schools planned to continue with their current mix of in-person and distance learning. Others intended to increase the number of physical lessons, but without being open to all students Monday through Friday.
Despite some reluctance to reopen fully today, teachers are excited to have their pupils back in the classroom. "The teachers want nothing more than to provide physical education. That also applies to those who have concerns. For this, one becomes a teacher and this is what makes a school a school," Annet Kil, president of the Gooise Schools Federation, told NH Nieuws.
Dozens of Gooise students were also pleased with going back to school. "You can absorb so much more information from the lesson. It is also much easier to ask questions, there is less distraction and there is more attention for the entire class," said one of the students. “It is also very pleasant because we haven't seen some of our classmates for a really long time.”
Secondary schools in the Netherlands were allowed to fully reopen on May 31 for the first time after six months of either full-time or part-time distance learning for their students. Those that didn’t reopen then, were given until June 7 to do so.
In schools, students have to keep their distance from teachers and staff, but not from each other.