May 29, 2022

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School starts in Corona |  The beginning of school is characterized by turmoil and uncertainty

School starts in Corona | The beginning of school is characterized by turmoil and uncertainty

About Norway

In some municipalities, the start of classes has been postponed to Monday, while others have used Christmas to pack express exams. Great uncertainty characterizes the beginning of the school year.

Yes, this is an accurate summary. We are hungry for more clarity and predictability, says Director of Communications Modolphe Moen at NTB School Leaders Association.

The government decided to continue the red level at the secondary level from January 1, while primary, secondary and kindergarten schools will be at the yellow level.

Everyone was supposed to start on Monday, but several venues, including Hamar and Fredrikstad, have postponed the start of school by a day so students and staff have time to test themselves.

Uncertain ability

– It is very disturbing that there are such big differences from one place to another. But to get to school on Monday, many of them had to test themselves on Sunday. It’s hard to achieve, says Moen, who is also concerned that schools will have enough testing in the future.

– It is very important that the student’s offer is not reduced in the future, he said.

Health authorities have recommended that students, staff in schools and staff in kindergartens undergo testing before starting after the Christmas holidays. But the big question is whether the testing capacity is sufficient.

– We’ve received varied responses. Some reported that they did not receive enough tests. But we haven’t received unambiguous reports and we don’t have a complete overview of how the schools themselves are organized, Moen says.

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Lots of doubts

The Norwegian Directorate of Health previously stated that if there were not enough tests for everyone, priority should be given to primary schools.

In Oslo, more than 90,000 students and teachers must test themselves before starting school. Before Christmas, many schools suffered from a running infection. Now not much is known about the situation.

– We’re planning to start running a bit blindly. We don’t know if this spread further over Christmas, says Principal Anton Rigg at Smestad School Aftenposten.

On Sunday, NTB was in contact with the National Association of Schools and KS. But they do not have an overview of the situation.

– There are many doubts. Tests have been ordered, but we don’t know if they got everywhere, says Leader Mate Johnson Walker at the National Association of Schools.

This Christmas, she received a lot of backlash from her allies.

There seem to be different practices, and the situation is very diverse, says Walker.

Quarantine frustrated

Many are also upset by the situation, especially when it comes to recreational quarantine. Teachers are in danger of being quarantined every day, but they can still catch the bus and pick up the kindergarten. She says that many simply do not understand the logic.

The recreational quarantine, introduced during Christmas, applies to staff in schools and kindergartens. From January 1, they can go to work even if they have been in close contact with an infected person, but they must test themselves 24 hours and seven days after close contact.

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Those who received the third dose of coronary artery vaccine are exempt from the rules, but so far only one in five teachers and kindergarten staff have received the third dose. Thus, most people should follow the new and controversial quarantine rules when schools start again.

(© NTB)