Education Minister Niki Kerameus has defended the opening of schools Monday, saying that if they had not opened the 15,500 coronavirus cases recorded among pupils and teachers would have gone undetected.
“Schools opened with more tests in both unvaccinated and vaccinated pupils and teachers, following the enhanced protocols decided by the experts’ committee,” Kerameus told TV station Ant1 Monday.
“One can see the importance of school operation also for health reasons, because if they had not opened we would not have detected those cases.”
Asked about objections to school opening by opposition parties and some experts who had called for a delay, the minister replied that each decision she made was carefully considered and discussed with the experts’ committee, adding that pupils and teachers found themselves in a controlled environment that kept them from further transmitting the virus.
Kerameus added that 5,000 substitute teachers will be hired “immediately” to replace those who have caught the virus.
“Online education will take place whenever a class has to suspend person-to-person instruction. It has happened in the past, it could happen again and will also happen in Florina [the northwestern city hit by a strong earthquake late Saturday]. But in no way can online instruction replace person-to-person education,” she said.
Kerameus said that no classes shut down Monday because of sick pupils or teachers. Reports on self-tests will determine if there willl be any shutdowns Tuesday, she added.