Smaller class size, better ventilation needed to keep schools open during lockdowns
The Youth Perspective Platform, a committee from the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau, said that schools could continue to remain open even during a lockdown if schools switch to teaching children in smaller groups.
Director of the committee, Kim Putters, told the Trouw that students should always be able to go to school to benefit children's educational progress.
According to the committee, teachers need to work in smaller groups to open safely. Smaller groups are safer and allow teachers to focus more on each student individually. "You can maintain social distance better and better look at the individual needs of the pupils," the Youth Perspective Platform said.
School buildings would also require improved ventilation. "The importance of space, ventilation and general hygiene is obvious, as aerosols play an important role in the transmission of coronavirus. Therefore, good ventilation or air filtering is essential for a safe school environment," the committee wrote.
Schools and municipalities have to carry 70 percent of the costs to improve ventilation. The government pays the remaining 30 percent. Some schools have been unable to afford new ventilation systems. The committee wanted the government to increase financial support to remodel schools. "Remove the obstacles as quickly as possible so that school buildings and classrooms become Covid proof and the ventilation backlog is caught up," the committee said.