No plans to extend school Christmas holiday break
The caretaker Cabinet does not yet consider it necessary to start the Christmas holidays in primary and secondary education a week earlier, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education said in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday. He added that the measure is not entirely off the table. "You can't really say that about anything," he said.
Various parties asked the Cabinet whether schools shouldn't be given a longer vacation to lower the number of coronavirus infections. Schools are currently one of the primary infection sources, partly because kids under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.
Slob said some schools decided to close temporarily due to the high number of infections, in consultation with health service GGD."It only concerns schools where it is really not possible to provide good and safe physical education."
He said other measures are being taken to reduce infections at schools. Some 600,000 older primary school pupils will be asked to do a self-test twice a week. The same goes for all secondary school kids. That comes down to millions of self-tests per week. "These are enormous quantities. From Monday, they will be delivered neatly to the doors of the schools." If a child tests positive, their entire household must quarantine at home.
He added that schools got educational materials explaining the self-tests in multiple languages so that all pupils and their parents can understand how to use them and why they are necessary. He also expressed his appreciation for teachers and other school staff "from whom a lot is demanded" now that the schools are open again.