After Christmas, children and young people will only return to day care centers and schools on January 10, according to a decision taken by the Council of Ministers. This was met with praise by the secretary general of the National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof): “The week extension of the school break is logical”, Mário Nogueira told Lusa.

"We agree with the measure of extending the school break for the sake of prevention against the spread of covid-19, not least because these days will be compensated for during Carnival and Easter", confirmed the general secretary of the National Federation of Education (FNE).

João Dias das Silva recalled that, in the last school year, “when the number of new cases started to be worrying”, the FNE had suggested to the Government that it postpone the beginning of classes after the festive period.

But at the time, the suggestion was not accepted, added the president of the National Association of School Leaders (ANDE), who told Lusa that they had made a similar proposal.

“Exactly a year ago we proposed to the Ministry of Education to extend the Christmas holidays and now we see that they are using the experience of the past”, said Manuel Pereira, recalling that in the last school year, classes started again on schedule, but at the end of January, the students went home for two weeks due to the worsening pandemic situation.

The representatives of the two associations representing the directors are both in agreement with the measures decided by the Council of Ministers.

Filinto Lima, president of the National Association of Directors of Groupings and Public Schools (ANDAEP), considers that “delaying the beginning of the year is prudent”, lamenting that “when society has no judgment, the schools pay”.

Manuel Pereira only warned that delaying the start of classes will translate into fewer days off at Carnival and Easter, used for rest and planning work and will no longer exist “at the expense of education professionals, who are already quite tired”.

This school year, instead of three days of Carnival vacation, students and workers will only stop on March 1st and Easter vacation will start three days later, that is, on April 19th, according to information provided to Lusa by Filinto Lima.

Both principals and representatives of teachers and school employees are also all in agreement with regard to “what was missing on Thursday from the prime minister”, summarized Filinto Lima.

The representatives of FNE, Fenprof, ANDE and ANDAEP continue to ask that school workers be considered a priority in the process of boosting vaccination, remembering that they are in daily contact with hundreds of children.

"There were two measures missing that we still hope to hear from the health authorities, which is that teachers and other employees are considered a priority in the vaccination process, so that schools can remain open, and move forward with periodic testing in schools and not just when cases appear ”, summarized Mário Nogueira.