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Kobi Israel Official Group

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Children Across Europe Going Back Here Countries Managing Covid Covid19 After School

Continued closures risk "scarring the life chances of a generation of young people," according to an open letter published last month and signed by more than 1500 members of the United Kingdom's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). Virtual education is often a pale shadow of the real thing and left many parents juggling jobs and childcare. Lower-income children who depend on school meals were going hungry. And there were hints that children were suffering increased abuse, now that school staff could no longer spot and report early signs of it. It was time, a growing chorus said, to bring children back to school.

children across europe going back here countries managing covid covid19 after school

As spring wore on, many other countries began rethinking distancing in schools. The Canadian province of Quebec, which reopened many elementary schools in May with strict distancing, has announced fall plans that allow children to socialize freely in groups of six; each group must stay 1 meter away from other groups of students and 2 meters away from teachers. Although French preschoolers were photographed sitting inside their own recess squares in May, day cares there have now abandoned all distancing rules for children ages 5 and under. Older students are advised to stay at least 1 meter away from others while inside. But outside they can play freely with others in their class. The Netherlands recently announced that anyone under age 17 does not need to distance.

Elsewhere, officials are more cautious. Taiwan, which has largely suppressed the virus, kept schools open after one case but said it would close them for two or more, a situation it hasn't yet faced. In Israel, schools closed for a single case, and close contacts of every infected individual were tested and quarantined, Aflalo says. By mid-June, 503 students and 167 staff had been infected, and 355 schools had closed temporarily. (That number is a small fraction of the 5000 schools across Israel.)

In much of the world, schools that closed in March remained closed through the summer break, and autumn will see a wave of reopenings. For millions of especially vulnerable children, however, the break may continue indefinitely. Many low-income countries lack the resources to shrink class sizes or provide everyone with masks and so are hesitant to reopen in the midst of a pandemic. In June, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said schools will likely stay shut until the danger of COVID-19 has passed. Similarly, officials in the Philippines said in-person schooling will not resume until there is a vaccine to protect against COVID-19. 041b061a72


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