Prague, April 14 (CTK) – Czech schools, closed over COVID-19, will not fully reopen by July when the summer holidays begin, according to a step-by-step reopening timetable the cabinet discussed today, which counts with the return of 6th-9th graders and secondary school students to classrooms the least of all.
The first who may resume lectures as soon as next week are university students, but only those in the last grade, who might meet at events attended by five people at the most. This would enable universities to stage final degree and PhD exams, Education Minister Robert Plaga (ANO) said after the cabinet meeting.
All types of schools except for kindergartens have been closed in the Czech Republic since March 11 based on a government directive, a part of a package aimed to combat the coronavirus.
Plaga emphasised that the schools reopening depends on the Health Ministry’s decisions.
“The plan can be implemented on condition that the epidemiological situation develops favourably,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO), who announced last week that the authorities succeeded in gaining control over the virus spread.
If the situation allows it, schools will reopen to students of the last grades of secondary schools and the 1st-5th graders of elementary schools as of May 25.
For the latter category of pupils, it will be recommended that the lessons be attended by stable groups of 15 members at the most. Pupils and students will obligatorily wear face masks in school premises except for classrooms, where it will be up to the respective teachers to decide on it.
The Education Ministry expects secondary school leaving exams, which otherwise take place in April and May, to start after June 1, when entrance exams will also be held at secondary schools.
The elementary school 6th-9th graders and the rest of secondary school students may return to schools in the form of consultations and occasional lessons, but education at a distance will prevail for them until the end of the school year which is June 30, Plaga said.
Individual lessons at elementary artistic schools and language schools can start as of May 11, as may lessons in children’s homes and institutes. The lessons for groups of up to five kids can start as of May 25.