A total of 2,800 teachers at Greek primary and secondary schools have been exempted from teaching in classrooms as they belong to high-risk groups for infection from the coronavirus, Kathimerini understands.
New teachers are to be recruited to fill some of the gaps while the 2,800 who have exemptions are to give online lessons from their homes to students who, for reasons of their own, are continuing lessons from home.
Most of the exempted teachers have an underlying health condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to a coronavirus infection, such as asthma.
Following the reopening of schools in the second week of September, a total of 153 have been forced to close again due to coronavirus outbreaks. The Education Ministry had said that infections at schools would be unavoidable and officials have indicated that the situation is manageable.
A more pressing concern is the number of sit-ins at schools by pupils airing a range of grievances ranging from complaints about coronavirus health protocols at schools and demands for stopping the mandatory use of face masks to opposition to defense procurements.
The nationwide committee coordinating the pupils’ action claims that 700 schools are currently under occupation, a figure that authorities question. A new round of protest rallies is planned for Athens and other Greek cities Thursday.