Worldwide Preparations for the Start of the New School Year

Several countries around the world are preparing for the next school year, which coincides with the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, there is a great concern about the contamination of children.

In China, students have started their studies with many preventive measures, including the obligation to have a mask in the school bag without necessarily wearing it, in addition to a complete and daily disinfection of classrooms, dining halls, dormitories and toilets. Masks and disinfectants are placed in each classroom.

In France, the mask is now part of the school supplies. Following the start of the new school year last Tuesday, the wearing of masks is mandatory for teachers, employees of the national education sector and students over 11 years old in all spaces, rather than only in closed spaces. This adds further costs to citizens. However, these costs will be compensated for by an extra 100 euros that will be added to the annual scholarship of each student. Managers and administrations are urged to ventilate classrooms and to respect the social distance between students, to wash their hands regularly without forgetting to reduce the number of students in the classrooms and to prohibit their mixing.

Italy has made the wearing of masks compulsory only when it is difficult to respect the physical distance between children, which is set at one meter. In addition to this, schools have equipped themselves with more tables.

In Spain, students aged 6 and over are obliged to wear the mask in the classroom and in the sports stadium. Schools have even added temporary classrooms in the recess classes to reduce the number of students to a maximum of 20 students per class. The teaching force has been strengthened by 11,000 additional teachers, in addition to the 2,000 million euros set aside by the government for the education sector, 40 million euros for support programs and 260 million euros for digital education programs.

In Japan, the requirement for protective visors replaces masks to facilitate breathing. Safety and social distancing are indicated in classrooms and recess areas, the latter being disinfected regularly. The parents of the students are required to present a daily document explaining the health situation of their children. As for the singing and music sessions, they have been cancelled in order to avoid saliva contamination.

As for Morocco, the school year is scheduled to begin on September 7, in the midst of a major debate on the approach that will be applied by the school institutes, which will include face-to-face and distance education.

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