How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?

How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?  - Photo 1.

French President Emmanuel Macron visits a primary school in Marseille on the opening day of September 2 – Photo: REUTERS

Starting September 2, 12.4 million students and 866,500 teachers in France back to school. Compared to the school year before the vaccine was not licensed, many things have been better. Currently, the rate of full vaccination against COVID-19 in France has reached 61%.

However, France still considers that the Delta variant is still a threat and the COVID-19 epidemic is quite likely to break out again, especially among students.

The number of infections among students under 12 years old is expected to increase

According to Radio France24, it is forecasted that in the coming weeks, the number of infections, especially students under 12 years old who have not been vaccinated, will increase.

To open schools safely, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced a 4-color warning process: blue, yellow, orange, red for COVID-19.

All schools start with the gold level, which allows students in all grades to attend face-to-face learning and is required to wear a mask, except when playing indoor sports and maintaining a safe distance.

Sports that require close contact are prohibited in schools.

How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?  - Photo 2.

Students go to school on September 2 in Lille, northern France – Photo: AFP

In AmericaMost schools reopen in mid-August.

On August 16, the Ministry of Education announced on Twitter the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that “all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools from kindergarten to grade 12 wear masks whether vaccinated or not vaccinated against COVID-19”.

The recommendation is to protect children under 12 years of age, who are not eligible for vaccination in the United States. In addition, vaccination rates among the 12 to 17 age group in the United States remain low.

The US CDC recommendation means that all students 2 years of age and older and adults present at school wear a mask.

How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?  - Photo 3.

The first day of school (August 16) of a school student in Los Angeles, California, USA – Photo: REUTERS

CDC also emphasizes the need to coordinate a variety of prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, school staff, and other family members, and to support face-to-face teaching and learning.

“Multi-layered prevention strategies – including vaccinating all eligible children and adults, wearing face masks, providing adequate ventilation, avoiding large gatherings and sitting at least 2 meters apart, screening Filtering helps prevent the spread of viruses in crowded settings such as schools,” – Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US CDC, recommended.

However, whether to wear a mask or not depends on the state. In Florida, on August 10, state governor Ron DeSantis warned that teachers would cut salaries who require students to wear masks at school. He also signed an order banning schools from forcing students to wear masks because it violates parents’ rights on how to protect their children.

How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?  - Photo 4.

Students take tutoring with an NGO because schools are closed due to COVID-19 in West Bengal state (India) on September 4 – Photo: AFP

Many countries apply online learning

Teacher Auntida Vajrabhaya said that the new school year is in Bangkok and many key epidemic areas in Thailand opened in May 2021, teaching and learning takes place entirely online.

There are only about 3 weeks left until the end of term 1 and she has not once met her students in person. Term 2 will begin on November 1, but there are no plans to resume online or face-to-face learning.

How do countries reopen schools when the Delta variant still threatens?  - Photo 5.

Students in Singapore study directly because there are no school-related infections – Photo: Straits Times

In Australia, the pressure to reopen the education sector is greater than ever. Newspaper Sydney Morning Herald On August 27, there was an article warning that the learning and development of students in Australia was at risk of falling behind due to the prolonged school closure.

For the past several months, due to the arrival of the Delta variant, students in the states of Victoria and New South Wales have stopped attending face-to-face lessons. From February 2020 to June 2021, Australia has 29 weeks of school closures.

According to calculations by the Department of Education, students in Victoria have had 39 weeks of disruption from school due to full or partial school closures since the outbreak of the pandemic and at least 21 weeks of students having to attend school. from far away.

Australian Education Minister Alan Tudge urged schools in Australia to open when the national average vaccination rate reaches 70%, in line with the federal government’s general reopening strategy.

Australia affirmed that it can learn from the experience of opening schools in the UK and the US to ensure safe schools when welcoming students back.

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