Covid-19 School Reopening

Education • School Education
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
Credit: unsplash.com / Sam McGhee

In Germany and the U.K., public TV stations now broadcast educational shows for schoolchildren.

German education channel ARD-alpha, as well as children's channel KiKa and broadcaster BR, are expanding their learning and school shows.

In the UK, too, the public broadcaster BBC will be broadcasting several hours of lessons every day from the start of next week. Starting this Monday, the children's channel CBBC and the BBC Two channel are to focus on content for schoolgirls. The initiative is intended to support both schools and families during the new lockdown.

Education • School Education
Ireland announces no-homework day for all students
Ireland announces no-homework day for all students
Credit: By House of the Oireachtas - https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/member/Norma-Foley.D.2020-02-08/ (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The Education Minister of Ireland, Norma Foley, has announced that all Irish students will receive a no-homework day in order to reward them for "working very hard" during the pandemic. She added that "Their teacher will decide what day the children can use it someday between now and Christmas".

Regional News • Asia • India
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
Credit: Barry Pousman from New York, NY / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in India will reopen on Thursday after a drop in Coronavirus cases. Schools in the Dehli region and the western Maharashtra state will remain closed until October 31.

Health
Study: Commercially available air purifiers can remove 90% of the aerosols in school classes
Study: Commercially available air purifiers can remove 90% of the aerosols in school classes
Credit: unsplash.com / Taylor Wilcox

An experimental study found that installing four commercial air purifiers in a classroom reduces aerosol concentrations by 90%. The team around Joachim Curtius of the Experimental Atmospheric Research Group of the Goethe University Frankfurt used one H13 filter in each of the devices, which can filter particles in a size of 0.1 particles in a size of 0.1 µm to 0.3 µm from the air.

Respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV2 are transmitted by droplet infection, touch and aerosols. Air filters can serve as a protective measure against aerosols that are incompletely retained by masks.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria reports first Covid-19 cases in schools days after reopening
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

According to a spokesperson of the government "there are no major clusters at educational institutions" after three cases of Covid-19 have been reported in three different schools in Vienna and 13 cases at multiple kindergartens.

The classmates of the infected students now need to go into quarantine for ten days since their last contact with the infected person.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
A staff member at Coalville school tests positive for Covid-19 days after Boris Johnson said the biggest risk is not Covid-19

The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, had visited the Castle Rock School in Coalville, Leicestershire for the reopening and told students that the biggest risk was "continuing to be out of school" and not the Covid-19.

Now a staff member of the school has tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in multiple classes and tutor groups going into self-isolation as "a precautionary measure". The school stated that the safety at the institution is "paramount".

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Face Coverings Mandatory in Secondary Schools in Local Lockdown Areas
Face Coverings Mandatory in Secondary Schools in Local Lockdown Areas
Credit: unsplas.com/NeONBRAND

Pupils of secondary schools in regions of England that are under local lockdown are now required to wear face coverings in schools, a U-turn on previous guidance. In those areas that are no affected by local lockdown restrictions, headteachers can decide whether masks need to be worn.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the decision was "the most precautionary approach" based on "the latest medical and scientific advice".

Tory MPs voiced criticism, saying mask would send "the wrong message" that "schools are not a safe setting".

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish unions announce strike for the first days of the return to school in Madrid
Spanish unions announce strike for the first days of the return to school in Madrid
Credit: unsplash.com / Taylor Wilcox

The unions CC OO, UGT, CGT and STEM have called for a teachers strike for the first days back to the classrooms and do not rule out making it indefinite, although they hope to reach an agreement before that.

They demand "a responsible return to the classroom" and are asking the regional administration for a decrease in the ratio of students per classroom by splitting up groups in order to respect safety distances. In addition they ask for an increase of teachers, cleaning, administration, social integration and complementary service personnel and increase in nursing staff in all schools.

The four unions called for "a plan for the compensation of inequalities; measures and resources for the correction of the digital gap; an endowment of all the necessary material resources and improvement of the infrastructures"

Health
Report: Masks recommended for students in schools by Swedish researchers
Report: Masks recommended for students in schools by Swedish researchers
Credit: unsplash.com / Rusty Watson

Based on data from South Korea, the United States and Israel analyzing the infections and spread of the coronavirus through children, researchers now believe that children can contract Covid-19 and easily spread it.

A group of 26 researchers from Sweden wrote that "Because children are contagious, can become seriously ill, and it is unclear today how a mild infection affects their future health, we should already at the start of school take measures to keep the infection down".

They recommend sport only outdoors, eating meals seperated in classes, avoiding group tasks and that masks should be worn at all times.