Within the context of the current lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic
The National Education Ministry has gone to considerable lengths and has met its responsibilities by putting in place a website (www.schouldoheem.lu) within a very short space of time.
Broadly speaking, six weeks or two months of educational restrictions do not seem disastrous within a school career lasting 13 years, the NPR welcomes an initiative that allows pupils and parents to remain connected to the school system.
With regard to government plans to re-open schools in May:
Firstly, it is undeniable that large numbers of parents are very worried about the gradual reopening of schools in May. This is demonstrated by the fact that an internet petition demanding that schools should not be reopened on 11 May has collected 10,000 signatures in a matter of a few days. Likewise, surveys published on social media show that only 20% of voters agree with government plans and that two thirds of people believe that it is too early for children to go back to school.
Secondly, the NPR is against splitting classes into two halves when pupils return to school. Splitting the classes is extremely difficult to implement for pupils, teachers, parents, schools and school management. Moreover, on/off weeks are really difficult to manage for working parents and their employers.
Thirdly, the NPR believes that children up to six years of age in the first cycle in primary school should not be obliged to return to school for the rest of the school year. It would be extremely difficult for children of this age to obey safety rules, such as wearing a face-mask and social distancing. It should be the parents’ decision to decide whether children should be sent to school or schooled at home. The same goes for children with special needs who attend the “Centres de Compétences”, who, depending on their particular difficulties, will not all be able to respect the sanitary instructions.
Fourthly, clear options should be put in place to protect children in families in which one member is considered to be a vulnerable person. Parents must have the right to choose homeschooling for pupils who normally attend primary, secondary or Skill centres, if medical risks for their children or other members of the family are deemed to be too great.
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