In total, there are about 1.2 million students who will be, for an indefinite time, taking their classes from home, almost a year after, in March, the Government closed the schools and initially implemented distance learning to contain the covid-19 pandemic.

If last year the new regime surprised the educational community, this time this possibility had already been foreseen when, two weeks ago, classes were suspended.

When he announced the measure, Prime Minister António Costa, said that he expected the interruption of in person activities to be “for short duration”, but a few days later he admitted that the return to schools would not be possible at the end of the planned 15 days and that the alternative would be online teaching.

Although this is a scenario for which schools should be prepared since the beginning of the school year, according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, warnings that not all problems have been solved come from school directors, teachers and parents, who anticipate the return with concern and hope that it will not last too long.

Speaking to Lusa, the presidents of two associations of directors confirmed that schools and teachers are now better prepared for distance learning, but still foresee similar constraints to those recorded last year.

The list of concerns includes, above all, the lack of computers and Internet access to accompany online classes, the fragility of some students due to their family and socioeconomic context, and the dependence of younger students.

To minimise some difficulties, the Government promises another 335,000 computers, which will be distributed over the 2nd period, in addition to the purchase of another 15,000 still without a scheduled date to arrive.