School councils welcome closure of schools

in News · 13-03-2020 12:37:00 · 0 Comments

The President of the Council of Schools has welcomed the Government's decision to suspend classes for all students in public and private education, recalling that the measure is based on European medical guidelines.

The Prime Minister, António Costa, announced that day care centers and schools from basic to higher education will suspend all classroom activities from Monday, to try to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The measure will be reassessed on April 9.

“I argue that the basis for any of these decisions must be medical criteria and information. If there are Portuguese or European medical organizations that defend that it is the best solution for the present moment, then I have nothing to oppose ”, affirmed the president of the Council of Schools, José Eduardo Lemos.

The measure will effect more than two million students: Around 240 thousand children are enrolled in pre-school education, almost 1.4 million are enrolled in primary and secondary education and close to 373 thousand students in higher education institutions. To these are added the children of the daycare centres.

The Prime Minister spoke on the hypothesis that students could continue to learn at a distance during the period of isolation.

In the opinion of José Eduardo Lemos, the solution may be difficult to put into practice in some situations, since not all teachers and students have the necessary technical means at their disposal.

"I think it will be difficult or not very feasible to be able to offer all classes at a distance, but any effort that is made seems to me to be positive," the president of the institution, who is an advisory body to the Ministry of Education, said in statements to Lusa.

The possibility of anticipating Easter school holidays by two weeks was defended this week by the president of the National Association of School Leaders, Manuel Pereira. A scenario also admitted at the beginning of the week by the Prime Minister, who always referred the decision to the National Council for Public Health.

Since Monday some basic and secondary schools as well as higher education establishments have closed.

On Wednesday, the National Public Health Council recommended that schools should only be closed at the discretion of the health authorities, a proposal that the director general of Health, Graça Freitas, considered to make sense.

According to the latest figures from the Directorate-General for Health, there are 78 patients with Covid-19.

Since December, about 117,000 people have been infected in more than a hundred countries, but the majority (about 63,000) have managed to recover from the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which can cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia.


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