Page 1 of 2
1 2

Spain experienced Europe’s worst job destruction in first half of the year

Europe / Spain / 02/09/2020 / Author: Antonio Maqueda / Source: english.elpais

Old habits die hard: Spain is once again the European economy that has shed the most jobs in times of crisis. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging in many countries, job destruction in the first half of the year was nearly three times higher in Spain than in other European countries.

A strict lockdown, reliance on tourism and a high rate of temporary contracts help explain why employment decreased by around 8%.

Old habits die hard: Spain is once again the European economy that has shed the most jobs in times of crisis. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging in many countries, job destruction in the first half of the year was nearly three times higher in Spain than in other European countries.

And this figure does not take into account all the furloughed workers still under Spain’s ERTE scheme, which allows employers to temporarily send staff home or reduce their working hours. Once this state-funded job protection program ends, a clearer picture will emerge of the true impact of the coronavirus on employment. Other EU countries have introduced similar programs to combat the impact of Covid-19 on their economies.

Spanish companies have a very quick and effective way of adjusting costs: temporary workers are immediately laid off or else their contracts are not renewed

Between April and June, employment in Spain decreased by 7.5% according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This comes on top of a 1% decline in the first quarter of the year. In other words, the number of employed persons dropped by around 8% in the first half of the year. Figures provided by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE), meanwhile, show that the number of employed individuals fell by 1.35 million between January and June.

By way of comparison, job destruction in Germany was 1.4% in the second quarter and zero in the first, according to Eurostat. while in France it was 0.2% in the first quarter and 2.6% in the second. And the United Kingdom only lost 0.7% of its jobs despite a similar drop in economic output as Spain’s.

This can partly be explained by the fact that one in three British workers, or 10 million out of 30 million, are on the equivalent of Spain’s ERTE furlough scheme, based on August data. The UK job-retention program also includes self-employed workers and grants beneficiaries up to 80% of their wages, up to a limit of £2,500 per month (around €2,240). Employment losses were 3.1% in the Netherlands, 4.1% in Austria, 1.2% in Poland and 1.3% in Sweden. Italy has yet to provide Eurostat with its second-quarter figures.

Not like 2008

This time is not like 2008, when Spain’s overheated construction sector was forced to adjust to the real estate crash and many jobs were lost for good. This time, the thinking is that the Covid-19 pandemic is a temporary evil and that workers’ wages must be protected until it passes. The tourism sector, for instance, is banking on a return to normal visitor flows once the virus comes under control.

Spain’s ERTE system, which finds inspiration in Germany’s Kurzarbeit, was originally created by former Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to deal with the 2008 crisis. The scheme gained traction under Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party (PP) and his 2012 labor reform. And now, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE has rolled out the job-retention program to stem the tremendous flow of job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet Spain continues to destroy more jobs than other neighboring countries. Spanish companies have a very quick and effective way of adjusting costs: temporary workers are immediately laid off or else their contracts are not renewed; this avoids problems with the permanent staff but has severe consequences on productivity and the social fabric of the country.

The INE’s labor force survey for the second quarter shows that two-thirds of lost jobs were temporary positions. The job-destruction rate was 2% among permanent employees and 11% among temporary workers.

But there were other factors at play. In mid-March Spain introduced the toughest lockdown in the world, as evidenced by Google’s mobility reports. This confinement triggered a 5.2% drop in economic activity in the first quarter and 18.5% between April and June. Only Britain experienced similar declines of 2% and 20.4%.

Another crucial element is the structure of Spain’s economy. Poland also has a lot of temporary workers, yet it only eliminated 1.2% of those jobs in the first half of the year. But Poland did not take such drastic measures as Spain against the coronavirus, and its economy is not as heavily dependent on tourism and entertainment – two activities that employ many temporary workers and which have been hard hit by the lockdown measures.

Temporary contracts

Over-reliance on temporary contracts has been a problem in Spain since the system was first used in the 1980s as a way to create jobs. No government has come up with an effective reform: former Labor Minister Fátima Báñez, of the PP, presented a plan that was never completed. And the Economy Ministry’s current plans for a severance-pay system based on Austria’s “backpack” model has been moved to the back burner due to the coronavirus crisis.

“Temporary contracts and short job duration are hampering young people’s ability to accumulate experience,” said Óscar Arce, the Bank of Spain’s director general for economics, at a recent presentation.

And in a recession, temporary workers who are made redundant are also cut off from full unemployment benefits, leaving them dependent on their own families for financial assistance.

English version by Susana Urra.

Source and Image:

Comparte este contenido:

India: Mixed reactions to new education policy

Asia/ India/ 04.08.2020/ Source:

Politicians and academics are divided in India about a new National Education Policy [NEP] 2020 that was approved last week and replaces a 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet approved the policy Wednesday “making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors”.

The policy mentions teaching up to at least grade 5 in the mother tongue or regional language and a focus on “curriculum to integrate Indian culture and ethos at all levels.”

However, there are mixed reactions regarding the new policy.

“On the whole, my sense about the policy is actually it contains many sensible suggestions. The apprehensions like BJP is bringing this policy and it could be saffronisation of education … fortunately this policy is not all about that. I think it is a step forward because many sensible things are there. At the same time I remain deeply skeptical about its implementation by this regime,” Yogendra Yadav, a former academic and national president of political organization Swaraj India told Anadolu Agency, referring to earlier fears that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party may bring some right-wing Hindu policies to education.

Professor Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor of New Delhi based Jamia Millia Islamia, termed the policy “ground-breaking.”

“The higher education in India will now be holistic and multidisciplinary with a shared focus on science, arts and humanities,” she said.

But Pankaj Kumar Garg, a teacher at a college affiliated with New Delhi University and also convenor of Indian National Teachers Congress, said there are many problems in the policy.

“They are encouraging foreign universities to come to India. You need to improve the ranking of local universities. By allowing foreign universities to operate in India on their own norms is permitted in FDIs [foreign direct investment] in education sector,” he said. “Use of technology in New Education Policy would deprive marginalized and economically poor sections from education as they don’t have proper resources required for online education.”

“The policy has advocated major reforms in education, but as always, the devil lies in the details, and we will see how to get the NEP 2020 translated to action on the ground, true to the spirit of the reforms envisaged to empower the students in the country, to discover and fully develop their unique potentials,” Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor of Shiv Nadar University in Uttar Pradesh was quoted by local news agency Press Trust of India.

Indian ethos

According to the policy document, the NEP “envisions an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society.”

“The Policy envisages that the curriculum and pedagogy of our institutions must develop among the students a deep sense of respect towards the Fundamental Duties and Constitutional values, bonding with one’s country, and a conscious awareness of one’s roles and responsibilities in a changing world,” it said.

Many organizations affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)- powerful Hindu far-right group and ideological inspiration for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have welcomed the NEP saying their suggestions were included, including remaining in India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Two such outfits are Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) and Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas.

“Almost all the things which were suggested by Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal have found place in NEP. We have been demanding renaming the HRD [Human Resource Development] ministry to education ministry and cultural ministry. They have changed the name to the education ministry,” Shankaranand BR who is All India Joint Organising Secretary, BSM told Anadolu Agency. “The NEP – 2020 would prove itself an instrumental in making Bharat Aatmnirbhar. The political independence we got on 15th August 1947 but the academic independence we got on 29th July 2020”.

He said the inclusion of «Bharatiya knowledge system, thrust for language and culture, will imbibe the values of life, constitutional values and life skills in new generation.»

“We welcome the policy. There is an integrated approach in the policy and It has talked about the development of students from all sections of the society. It has stressed on local culture, local skills, and traditional arts. Local, state and national has been combined. It has been inculcated in this. The biggest demand of ours was to change the name of the ministry, which has been done. There is also focus about promotion of Indian languages,” Atul Kothari, national secretary of the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas told Anadolu Agency

India’s Samajwadi Party (SP) claimed the objective of the new policy was to “implement the RSS agenda.”

«The objective of the new education policy announced by the centre is to implement the agenda of the RSS. According to this agenda, the curriculum will now be presented in a special colour to mould the new generations,” SP President Akhilesh Yadav said in a statement, according to the Press Trust of India.

Indian politician and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said, “Bypassing Parliament, ignoring opinion of state governments and rubbishing opinions of all stakeholders, Modi government is unilaterally destroying our education system,” he said.

‘Shining example’

Modi said the framing of NEP 2020 will be remembered as a shining example of participative governance.

“I thank all those who have worked hard in the formulation of the NEP 2020. May education brighten our nation and lead it to prosperity,” he tweeted.

“Respecting the spirit ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’, the NEP 2020 includes systems to promote Indian languages, including Sanskrit. Many foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardised across the country.”

Source of the notice:

Comparte este contenido:

This women’s college in Ghana leads the way on e-learning during the pandemic

By: Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many universities are currently deliberating what to do for the forthcoming semester. St. Teresa’s College of Education, one of five female-only colleges in Ghana, is leading the way with e-learning by consolidating the use of messaging applications like Telegram and WhatsApp.

Established as the Women’s Training College in 1961 and later becoming the St. Teresa’s College of Education, Hohoe, Volta region, in 1964, the college is one of 46 colleges of education in Ghana.

In March, the college sent its students home as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and most classes shifted online. While some students have been asked to return to school to prepare for their final exams, many students continue to learn online from home.

The college does not have an in-built e-learning platform like Sakai, Canvas or Blackboard, and there are no officially recognized learning platforms in Ghana. At other colleges, tutors often use whichever platform they feel works best and as a result, many students download multiple applications like Google Classroom, Zoom, Telegram, and WhatsApp, some of which consume a lot of data. In many cases, students are not formally enrolled on these platforms by their institutions to take lessons.

At St. Teresa’s, however, online learning is mostly conducted on WhatsApp and Telegram. After consulting with tutors and students, the apps were designated as the official learning platforms for the college. Tutors switch to WhatsApp if they run into network problems while conducting classes on Telegram. Students observe that these platforms are low-cost, and this helps them save money on internet data.

Speaking to Global Voices by phone, Benedictus Mawusi Donkor, a tutor at the college, explained why the college decided to enroll all students on WhatsApp and Telegram for e-learning:

When we were using the Google Classroom and YouTube, downloading videos becomes a problem when the network is not that strong. But when it comes to Telegram, I think with a little bit of network you easily get access to text mostly and audio. And some too, just a handful even with the Telegram they have a problem, so we try to engage them on WhatsApp. They have a WhatsApp platform as well as the Telegram.

By consolidating and centralizing platforms for e-learning, tutors have found creative methods to keep students engaged in classes conducted on these messaging apps. Some of these methods include close monitoring of student engagement and attendance, customizing available digital platforms for learning, listening to and addressing students’ and tutors’ concerns and providing monthly digital training for tutors in need.

Doreen Mensah, a first-year student, said that tutors and the college’s authorities found ways to motivate students to participate in online lessons.

The tutors have been motivating us. They know it’s not easy, so they tell us to try. When they are online, and you are not available he will pick his phone to call and find out what is going on. And then they will give you words of encouragement to convince us to go online.

However, there are still structural issues that mitigate learning at St. Teresa’s. According to Jennifer Nyavor, a first-year student, students are struggling financially since their allowances have not been paid since March when they were sent home:

When we were in school, we depended on the allowance but now that we are home, they stopped paying allowances and some of us use it to pay school fees so it’s making life difficult. Since we came back home in March when the president said no school till further notice, that was when they stopped paying the allowances. The allowance is 200 Ghana cedis [$34.54] per month. Unless my parents give me something small to buy data. So when I come online, I can’t ask questions because then the class is over.

High student engagement

According to a Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) report, while some colleges reported attendance rates as low as 31 percent in June, St. Teresa’s reported a 97 percent attendance rate. Tutors were highly engaged and in touch with students’ pedagogical needs. Tutors checked in regularly with students who were missing classes to work with them so that they could maintain regular class attendance.

In phone conversations with Global Voices, students and tutors observed that the college’s principal, vice-principal and quality assurance officer were added to each course platform to observe classes and work to address challenges as they emerged.

According to Jennifer Agyekum, a second-year student at the college, the efforts of tutors to keep students engaged have been effective:

Those who do well in assignments, tokens are being given to students in the form of [internet data] bundles. They are really motivating us to participate in the virtual learning and they are doing their best.

However, tutors and students still had to deal with other structural issues that specifically affected student engagement while they studied remotely.

Sophia Adjoa Micah, the principal, said:

As students are at home, some parents may not understand the whole business of learning online. Seeing their wards online they may not take kindly to it. And being females, some of the students have to do chores at home. It is a challenge to learn online and concentrate without any distractions.

Other tutors took the initiative to call parents and talk to them about creating conditions at home to enable their daughters to learn online with as few distractions as possible.

At the end of each month, tutors are required to write reports detailing the progress of their online classes and identify the challenges of mitigating teaching and learning. These reports are then submitted to school management who review them and work with tutors and students to develop strategies to address these issues.

The college also adopted an open communication style where conditions were created for students to share their concerns and challenges. The students who spoke to Global Voices found that this communication style was helpful for supporting their learning.

A model for higher education e-learning

While some lecturers in other higher education institutions in Ghana have struggled to navigate teaching online, St. Teresa’s College has worked in close collaboration with tutors to ensure that they are properly equipped to use digital tools to teach their classes.

Some tutors said that the Information Technology (IT) department of the college organizes monthly programs and workshops to help tutors who are struggling to navigate digital platforms in their classes.

In an email conversation with Global Voices, Principal Micah explained how some of the college’s support funds from T-TEL were used to enroll tutors in an online certificate course organized by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

The college is doing well with limited resources, but Micah believes that the establishment of a state-of-the-art ICT center will help them improve the quality of e-learning. Micah has also appealed to telecommunications companies in Ghana to provide support for students via free data packages to improve access to education, especially for marginalized students.

Source of the article:

Comparte este contenido:

We can use COVID-19 pandemic to reinvent education

By: Harin Contractor.


A lot has been said about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been exacerbated by the digital divide in education, health care and elsewhere.

Overnight, millions of students were consigned to the wild wild west of distance learning at home. And we are quickly discovering the depth of the digital divide in the field of education, and that its dimensions reach far beyond the simple notion of just having broadband inside the home.

Currently, distance learning is breaking down for many reasons. Nearly three months into distance learning in Philadelphia, fewer than half of the students participated in their virtual classroom. Los Angeles’ largest school district reported 15,000 students were absent from online learning, even after many students received distance learning devices.

The lack of planning by school systems is probably the most significant failure. Surveys show that nearly 65% of teachers worldwide were completely unprepared for what the distance education transition requires, and it takes a lot: understanding the technology, updating curricula, in-home supervision especially in single-parent households, literacy and a range of other baked-in sociological factors.

Inequities, already ubiquitous in public education, are also deepening in distance education. Forty-three percent of Hispanics and 42% of African American students don’t have a desktop or laptop at home, and 33% of urban students lack home computers.

And even if students get devices from their local schools, we face a digital literacy crisis. One survey found many fifth and eighth graders are insufficiently prepared digitally.

In order to fix the distance education challenge, government, business and nonprofit leaders must come together and get our nation’s best minds focused on every aspect of the problem. The future of our education, health care and so many other institutions depend on it.

Through the CARES Act, Congress is trying to address some of the device gap and other divide challenges by appropriating $13.2 billion in grants for elementary and secondary schools. Congress wisely sees that the distance education challenge involves many issues simultaneously and appropriated funds for a wide range of purposes — curricula, computers, broadband connectivity, software and so on.

It’s a useful start, but unless the education community, parents, community leaders and students all rally to fix the underlying challenges, we will be climbing a steep hill on education this fall and beyond.

While many broadband providers have stepped up to provide $10 a month broadband internet service to low-income households — and some are even offering free service to many homes during COVID-19 — we need the flexibility on E-Rate and CARES funds to beta-test other broadband adoption strategies. For instance, we should use these funds to help broadband providers wire every single unconnected home in a community where that provider already servicing a school.

Other ideas should also be tested, including incentivizing even more low-cost broadband by returning universal service contributions to broadband providers that take such initiatives. Federal funds should also better support public libraries, which have become critical learning centers for many communities during social distancing phase of education and training.

But most fundamentally, it’s time for the government and private sector partners to set up a national blended learning, mentoring and tutoring effort. Unless we think big along those lines, students will remain sidelined this fall regardless of how much broadband connectivity and devices they have.

Big structural change ideas must include massive new digital literacy efforts in urban and rural America where the online education gaps are most stark. Policy leaders must remember that the divide is as much an adoption issue as anything else; many non-adopting homes don’t see the relevance of the internet or may prefer their mobile device.

This crisis allows us the opportunity to reinvent our education system and make it more fair and inclusive to reflect our 21st century realities.

Source of the article:

Comparte este contenido:

COVID-19: UN and partners work to ensure learning never stops for young refugees

Por: UN News.


Global advocates for refugees are pushing to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not derail efforts for displaced children and young people to continue learning and eventually return to a real classroom.

During a roundtable discussion held online on Monday, top UN officials, education ministers, and young refugees, together with representatives from the private sector and non-governmental organizations, highlighted growing needs on the ground – during the crisis and beyond.

“Even before COVID-19, refugee children were twice as unlikely as other children to attend school”, said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the UN’s educational and cultural agency, UNESCO, which co-organized the event alongside the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

“Four million of these children, aged between five and 17, did not attend primary or secondary education, and only one per cent embarked on higher education, severely limiting their chances for the future.”

One billion out of school

Although some countries are slowly emerging from the pandemic, with an increasing trend towards re-opening schools, more than one billion students worldwide are still out of the classroom, according to UN estimates.

COVID-19 has upended lives and societies but its impacts have been harshest for the world’s most vulnerable people, such as the nearly 80 million refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands.

Despite improved enrollment rates, only 63 per cent of refugee children are receiving primary or secondary education.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie underscored why the disruption to education cannot become permanent.

“COVID-19 is proving to be an incredible catalyst for science, and discovery and innovation”, she stated.

“And if we could do the same for education—harnessing new technologies with the power of government and private sector funding, and the energy and the drive of millions of talented young people—it would be one of the greatest single inoculations imaginable against poverty and the denial of rights worldwide.”

Fear of rising inequities

The partners fear the pandemic could increase inequities, whether due to existing barriers, such as those hindering girls’ access to education, or from rising racism, discrimination and xenophobia brought on by the crisis.

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, revealed that school closures have disrupted more than just learning.

“Instead of benefiting from school feeding programmes, 370 million children are facing food insecurity”, she told the meeting. “Instead of experiencing a safe environment at school, children and youth are more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence and abuse at home. This reality is further compounded for refugees and internally displaced persons. These children are missing out not only on education and meals at school, but also a safe place to grow up and thrive.”

Both Canada and the United Kingdom, co-hosts of the online discussion, announced $5 million pledges to support young refugees as well as their teachers, who also serve as sources of psycho-social support.

“If we are truly to build back better, which we all want to do, education must be prioritized in the global recovery from coronavirus”, said Baroness Sugg, UK Special Envoy for Girls’ Education.

Young refugees on the frontlines

Bahati Ernestine Hategekimana is a living example of the powerful influence education can have on the life of a young refugee.

She and her family arrived in Kenya from Rwanda in 1996. Today, Bahati is on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response effort, as a nursing intern in the capital Nairobi. She also participates in an online campaign that showcases refugee contributions to counter the crisis.

Coronavirus Portal & News Updates

“All over the world, young refugees volunteer like me to support the emergency response. We have communication officers who fight against fake news, students who raise funds to support vulnerable families: from refugees as well as host communities; and others who have produced masks and soap and distributed them among communities”, she said.

Bahati was able to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse when she was awarded a scholarship through a UNHCR programme that supports higher education opportunities for refugees.

She said most recipients are studying in the health care field, meaning they can help strengthen health systems in their host countries and in their countries of origin.

Source of review:

Comparte este contenido:

Indonesia starts school year with caution during pandemic

Asia/ Indonesia/ 14.07.2020/ Fuente:

After months of studying from home, students in several parts of the archipelago returned to school on Monday in accordance with the so-called “new normal” protocols in their respective communities.

In the meantime, a number of other regions continued to exercise caution and carried on with their online learning policies as the COVID-19 health crisis has shown no sign of abating anytime soon.

In East Nusa Tenggara, students returned to their classrooms as junior and senior high schools in 13 regencies and cities across the province – including the provincial capital Kupang, East Manggarai regency, Rote Ndao regency, East Flores regency, and Central Sumba regency – were permitted to resume their normal educational activities this week, albeit with a renewed emphasis on physical distancing and personal hygiene.

Despite the high-spirited school reopenings across the province, some parents have conveyed their collective anxiety about their children’s well-being.

Habel Manafe, whose child attends SMA 3 state senior high school in Kupang, called on schools to implement strict health protocols to ensure the safety of students, teachers and other staff members.

“For us, it goes without saying that once schools reopen, they must [enforce] health protocols. This includes implementing physical distancing measures, for instance, by putting some distance between seats in the classroom,” Habel told the press on Monday, adding that students must also be required to wear face masks.

Habel went on to say that having students tested for COVID-19 was crucial as schools adjusted to new norms.

Furthermore, students should also be given practical lessons on health protocols so they can develop new habits to minimize the risks of infection, Habel said.

“Parents shouldn’t simply tell [their children] to wash their hands, but they should also demonstrate how to do it properly,” Habel added.

Similarly, junior and senior high school students in Jambi city, Jambi, were also allowed to return to their classrooms on Monday, reported.

Jambi Mayor Syarif Fasha said the decision to reopen schools in the city was partly because hundreds of students in the region lacked access to online learning technology.

He noted that the reopening was met with enthusiasm among students, as evidenced by the 50 percent attendance rate on Monday. He expected the attendance rate to reach 100 percent by the end of the month.

“For the time being, [studying at school] is not mandatory. If a student has [breathing issues], for instance, they will be allowed to study remotely,” Syarif said.

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim allowed 104 regencies and cities considered to be “green zones” across the country to reopen junior and senior high schools on July 13, which also marked the start of the new school year.

However, elementary school students are still required to study from home until further notice.

Amid Monday’s reopenings, some other regions remained cautious, with students told to continue studying from home because of health and safety concerns.

The Riau Islands administration, for instance, has prohibited schools from reopening as the threat of COVID-19 has yet to subside in the region.

“Based on our field inspection, schools – specifically senior high schools and vocational schools – haven’t reopened. We will [impose sanctions] if they do reopen,” Riau Islands Education Agency character building division head Adimaja told The Jakarta Post, adding that learning activities had mostly taken place online.

He went on to say that a few vocational schools in Batam had been permitted to allow students to resume outdoor activities, while still adhering to strict health protocols.

Akmal, who serves as a principal at Kartini Senior High School in Batam, said schools could be reopened for in-person learning as soon as the region was declared a “green zone”.

“[The reopening] also depends on the parents’ approval,” Akmal said.

In Medan, North Sumatra, however, students flocked to schools despite the local administration’s restrictions. Based on the Post’s observations, many students were not wearing face masks.

“On the first day of school, we sang together and wrote down our personal information. We had fun,” said Dori, a seventh grader at SMP 4 state junior high school in Medan.

North Sumatra Education Agency secretary Alpian Hutahuruk expressed dismay over the unsanctioned reopenings, saying it endangered students.

“This could put students in peril. We have prohibited [schools from reopening]. No school in North Sumatra may reopen when the COVID-19 [transmission rate] is still high,” said Alpian, adding that the administration would reach out to schools that were found to have violated the regulation.

Separately, national COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said the government had considered allowing schools in “yellow zones” to reopen because of high public demand.

“We are reviewing several public requests to allow [students] in yellow zones to go back to school,” Doni said after a meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday.

As of Monday, Indonesia had recorded 76,981 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,656 deaths linked to the disease. (rfa)

Fuente de la noticia:

Comparte este contenido:

Japan’s schools begin to reopen with staggered attendance

Asia/ Japan/ 25.05.2020/ Source:

Schools in many regions across the nation reopened Monday with staggered attendance, in preparation for a full-scale restart of classes, following the government’s lifting of the state of emergency in 39 of the nation’s 47 prefectures last Thursday.

After the emergency closures, schools are welcoming back students while taking measures to prevent infections of the new coronavirus, such as avoiding overcrowding and shortening school hours.

All elementary and junior high schools in the city of Yamagata resumed classes on Monday. At a municipally run elementary school in the prefectural capital, students wearing face masks started arriving at around 7:30 a.m.

Returning after the two-and-a-half-month school closure, some of them happily talked with friends. “I’m a little afraid that I may get the virus, but I look forward to seeing everybody,” said a second-grade boy, age 7.

With this week as a “warm-up” period, the school will offer classes only in the morning on the first three days. A simple lunch, with only bread and milk being served, will be added to the schedule on Thursday and Friday. The school timetable is slated to return to normal next week.

“First, we need to help students correct their rhythm of life (undermined by the school closure),” said an official at the board of education of the city.

“We aim to take the steps needed gradually, including getting students accustomed to new school lunch rules designed to prevent coronavirus infection,” the official added.

In Toyama Prefecture, schools operated by the prefectural government also reopened Monday — earlier than the initial plan for them to remain shut until the end of this month.

To prevent overcrowding, each student is allowed to attend school just once or twice this week.

At Toyama Chubu High School in the city of Toyama, the prefectural capital, third-grade students were divided into two groups. On Monday, students in one group attended school in the morning while those in the other attended in the afternoon.

One student voiced concern over upcoming university entrance exams, saying, “Studying on my own is difficult.”

“We are concerned whether students will be able to take university entrance exams as scheduled, but we will do everything we can” to support them, said Koichi Hongo, the principal of the high school.

In contrast, the city of Kumamoto remains cautious, planning to start staggered school attendance next week or later. It aims to resume classes fully on June 8.

A municipal official in the prefectural capital said that many people found to have been infected with the novel coronavirus in the prefecture are within the city.

“We need to confirm infection numbers after the end of the Golden Week holiday period” earlier this month, the official added.

Kumamoto Prefectural Government reopened prefecture-run schools on Monday.

Yamagata, Toyama and Kumamoto prefectures are among the 39 for which the coronavirus state of emergency was lifted. The other eight prefectures that remain subject to the state of emergency are Hokkaido, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo.

Source of the notice:

Comparte este contenido:
Page 1 of 2
1 2