Primary and secondary schools reopen on Monday 10 January as scheduled. Colleges and universities remain closed for the time being. “It is what it is”, sighs a spokesperson of a schools association about the outgoing cabinet’s corona policy. The reactions from the world of education vary from ‘happy’ to worrying or despondent’.
In December, classes closed a week earlier for the Christmas holidays. The early closure was a precautionary measure to mitigate an imminent outbreak of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Schools had already prepared for it. Classes would go on regardless, either via online distance learning or full classes.
The fact that students can now go to school is a major windfall. “It is wonderful that we can be a school again”, reacts Jean Wiertz of the Sint-Janslyceum in Den Bosch. “Our building is empty now and without pupils, a school is not a school.”
“Without pupils, a school is not a school.”
“We are extremely happy that we are allowed to teach physically again. We believe this is the best way to teach and also very important for the social well-being of the pupils”, says Marit Goosen of the association Ons Middelbaar Onderwijs (OMO).
The spokesperson for the Board of Governors adds that the OMO schools would open on Monday 10 January anyway. “With online distance education or with regular classes. We can switch quickly.”
“Children should just go to school.”
“Children should just go to school,” says Tom van Esch, director of primary school De Beemden in Boxtel. “I have young children and am currently mainly in holiday mode. This news is exciting. We have shared the cabinet’s decision with the teachers via an app. Their reactions are positive. Next week we go back to work.”
The General Education League (AOb) says it is “good for all pupils” that they can go to school again. However, they remain surprised that, for example, school buildings have still not been properly ventilated.
“The mental damage of a lockdown is enormous for students.”
Students at colleges and universities are less happy. “The lockdown of higher education leaves us crestfallen. Countless studies show that the mental damage of a lockdown is enormous for students, and the quality of fully online education also leaves something to be desired,” says president Lisanne de Roos of the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan