Principals of various primary schools in Eindhoven and Geldrop feel that their schools should close because of the coronavirus. “Some employees are anxious.”
Studio040 approached primary schools in Eindhoven and Geldrop with a questionnaire, now that a lot of commotion has arisen about whether or not to let primary education continue. The Cabinet and the RIVM choose to keep primary schools open, in contrast to many social organisations and other educational institutions.
“School must close”
So far, ten school boards have reacted, and the picture is clear. Eight out of ten principals think the schools should close. These include Primary School De Schakel, De Boog and ‘t Startblok in Eindhoven and De Regenboog and Primary School Vijfblad in Geldrop. It is not the case that the principals actually will close their schools from Monday. They indicate that they will follow the advice given by the RIVM.
Shortage of staff, children stay at home
The problems mentioned by the school principals are also very similar: there is a shortage of teachers and support staff and parents are keeping their children at home as a precaution. Lessons and activities are also cancelled and children are sent home. Furthermore, a number of school heads write that there are concerns, both among parents and teachers. “All staff members are increasingly worried. Some are even anxious”, Maretta de Jong of primary school De Boog says.
“We are ennobled child care”
The government does not want to close primary schools yet, so as not to paralyse the economy even more. Parents work, for example, in the fire brigade or in the health care sector, sectors that are called upon in times of crisis. This line of reasoning is causing a great deal of harm to a number of school principals. “We have degenerated into ennobled childcare and must take the risk of contaminating staff, parents and children for granted,” says Michelle Evers of De Springplank Primary School.
Despite the corona crisis and the dissatisfaction with the government’s measures, some school leaders also see bright spots. Annelies Voss of Primary School Vijfblad: “Many things are going well. No shaking hands and children are further apart in the classes. School tasks are e-mailed to the parents, so that children with complaints at home can do something. There is also good coordination within our team and communication to the parents. A lot to be proud of”.
Original source: Studio040