September is the likely target for getting Spain’s children back into schools, after their closure last month due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the date being recommended by the group of experts put together by the Spanish Pediatric Association that is advising the government.
This would mean that the 8.2 million students who are currently confined in their homes under Spain’s strict lockdown measures will have spent five months without setting foot in a classroom.
The committee was put together after the Health Ministry commissioned a report from the association on the measures it should take with regard to schoolchildren. The opinion among the eight specialists that make up the group is that schools will not be ready to restart classes with the necessary precautions until after the summer.
Among the experts advising the government is a child psychiatrist, a specialist in infectious diseases, and experts in pediatric ethics and primary healthcare, among others. “It would not be prudent to open schools in the current circumstances and we can assume that the rest of the ongoing school year will be abandoned,” they say from the commission.
The epidemiologist from the group, Quique Bassat, explains that the return to the classroom is not a priority. “The end of the confinement measures will not begin until well into May, and given that this will nearly be at the end of the school year, there is agreement that it is not worth the risk,” he says. “It will be delayed until September.”
But that will be dependent on the progress of the coronavirus epidemic in Spain, and the experience of China, where children are back at school after four months of isolation. Bassat adds that the group has not set a date, and it will ultimately be the Spanish government that decides when schools will resume activity.
Source: El Pais