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Primary schools to fully reopen next week

Ljubljana, 28 May - Fourth and fifth graders will return to school on Monday, the first day when the Covid-19 epidemic will no longer be in place. Those in grades six, seven and eight will return on Wednesday, Education Minister Simona Kustec told the press on Thursday.

Ljubljana
The director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), Milan Krek, speaking to the press as the decision about next week's full reopening of primary schools is announced.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
The director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), Milan Krek, speaking to the press as the decision about next week's full reopening of primary schools is announced.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
Minister of Education, Science and Sport Simona Kustec announcing the decision about next week's full reopening of primary schools.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
Minister of Education, Science and Sport Simona Kustec announcing the decision about next week's full reopening of primary schools.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
Designated seating is marked in classrooms as children up to third grade return to schools and kindergartens along with final-year students of secondary schools.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

This represents a full reopening of primary schools after children in the first three grades returned to classrooms on 18 May and those in ninth grade this week.

Also as of 1 June, children from the first three years will no longer be split into smaller groups of up to 15 children per classroom, going normally back to their original classrooms with their original classmates, the minister said.

The same relaxation will apply to kindergartens as of Monday.

Distance learning will meanwhile continue for secondary school students, expect for those in their final year, who returned to classrooms on 18 May to prepare for the school-leaving matura exam.

This is because there are still some restrictions applying to secondary school dormitories, explained Kustec.

Social distancing of 1.5 meters will still have to be observed as well as all other precautionary and hygienic measures.

Children will not be required to wear masks, but teachers are advised to wear them.

Despite the return to classrooms, the instruction to teachers that children should get only one grade before the end of the school year remains in place.

National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) director Milan Krek said that despite the relaxation of public life, infection risks remain, so caution is needed.

In case of any respiratory infection, school children and teachers are advised to stay at home, he stressed, noting that if the virus appears in a school, it would have to be closed.

Schools closed on 16 March when the country went into lockdown four days after the epidemic was formally declared.

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© STA, 2020