Schools reopen as many pupils stay home

Schools reopen as many pupils stay home

Senior high school pupils are scheduled to return to class on Monday in the next key phase of the government’s plan to lift restrictions imposed in March to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

But some students have told Kathimerini that they do not plan to go to school unless absolutely necessary and will spend the next few weeks preparing for university entrance exams from home in June.

Attendance tends to be poor in the weeks leading up to the nationwide exams, as students hoard their permitted days off in order to take them all together during the intense study period. 

These absences are expected to be even greater this year in spite of the government’s drive to get pupils back into classrooms – starting with senior high pupils today and continuing with all secondary school pupils as of May 18. 

In comments to Kathimerini, Mikelino Maragoudakis, a pupil at the Anavryta Model Lyceum, said he did not feel comfortable resuming his studies in a classroom.

“Sitting the university entrance exams is my life goal, so it’s not ideal for me to be worried about possibly becoming ill,” he said, adding that he planned to go to school “only if absolutely necessary to pick up [teaching] material.” 

Last week, the Education Ministry sent comprehensive guidelines to the country’s schools, detailing all the necessary hygiene measures and all the information teachers, parents and students need to know.

Apart from maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other pupils and teachers, students are also being instructed not to exchange books and stationery.

Pupils will also have to use keyboard covers, in accordance with health authorities’ guidelines, while chairs must be disinfected before someone else sits down.

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