Schools and kindergartens reopen their doors today in ten German federal states after two months of closure due to coronavirus, even though epidemiological data remain high and the debate remains open about whether teachers and caregivers should be included in the priority groups for vaccination.
It is good that many schools in Germany are willing to resume face-to-face classes. Children, especially the youngest ones, need to be among them, said Education Minister Anja Karliczek, who also stressed the need to put all of them into practice. possible means of prevention to prevent schools from becoming sources of infection and spread of Covid-19 and its variants. For teachers and educators, the best possible barrier to a disease that can cause complications in adulthood is vaccination. Chancellor Angela Merkel has understood this by showing support for including these workers among the priority vaccination groups. The Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, will address this issue with his regional peers in the telematics conference that will be held at the end of the day.
Spahn and the regional ministers initially agree to prioritize the vaccination of teachers, but the modification of the protocol may take at least a week and the vaccination commission must first assess the consequences it would have for the older and vulnerable groups include in its calendar the million teachers and caregivers that, according to the Federal Statistical Office, make up this group. The person in charge of Social Affairs of the state of Baden-Württemberg, Manne Lucha, of the party of the Greens, has not waited for the debate and announced that from today the teachers and educators of the ‘Land’ will be vaccinated along with doctors and health personnel.
The criticisms of the president of the Patient Aid Foundation, Eugen Brysch, have not been long in coming. If workgroups continue to be put forward, the price to pay will be lives, he warned. Guaranteeing socialization and more specifically the right to education even in times of pandemic has been a priority for Merkel’s government and constant demand from parents, subjected to the pressure of reconciling work with the care and care of children 24 hours at home.
The decision, however, was and is in the hands of the ‘Länder’ and given the opposing positions that existed between them, the conference of ministers of Education has practically limited itself to making recommendations on safety and hygiene protocols.
The first to open the classrooms were the federal states of Saxony and Lower Saxony, which were joined this Monday by a dozen. In the remaining four ‘Lander’ the classes will continue to be online and the nurseries will only accept children under special conditions. The return to the classroom will not be a return to normality. The protocol to be followed in each federated state varies, but in general, the classes will be taught in small, pre-established groups and ensuring a minimum of contacts between schoolchildren. In the case of nurseries, where it is more difficult for children to comply with the protocol, it will be the centers that determine, in conjunction with the local authorities, whether the reopening will be total or partial.
The umbrella under which the face-to-face course is reopened is, in both cases, the same. The incidence of Covid-19 continues to be well above the 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants set for the relaxation of the restrictions in force since last November, to which is added the threat posed by new variants of the virus, plus infectious. The average ratio at this time is 60.2 accumulated cases in seven days.