Final year secondary school pupils are back in school today, two months after schools closed to contain the spread of coronavirus, to prepare for end of year exams on June 9.
They return to a host of new health protocols — including classes of just 12 — in what will serve as a trial run for the return of all levels of education to school — by rotation and with stringent rules — on May 21.
Concerns have been raised by teachers unions, parents associations and pupils that the return to school could be premature and risky.
Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou is due today to visit a lyceum and a technical school in Archangelos, Nicosia, to see how the measures are being implemented.
Each class has been divided in two, with the first group going to school from 7.30 am to 11.30 am. There will be maximum of 12 pupils per classroom, with desks spread out to ensure distancing rules are adhered to.
They are prohibited from close contact and using the same objects. Tuck shops are closed and pupils and teachers have been told to bring their own food and water.
Special arrangements have been made for breaks so that they are not all out at the same time in the school yard. The use of antiseptics and hand washing is compulsory.