News Local Schools, nurseries to reopen on May 21, attendance 'by rotation'

Schools, nurseries to reopen on May 21, attendance ‘by rotation’

Schools, nurseries and private teaching institutes will reopen for all pupils on May 21 at the start of Phase Two of the easing of lockdown measures, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Wednesday.

But pupils will not go every day, but will instead be divided into two groups.

Prodromou also said 20,000 Covid-19 tests will be made available for pupils and teachers.

Prodromou was speaking following a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace on school reopening and the measures to be taken for the protection of pupils, teachers and other staff from Coronavirus.

Prodromou said that schools will continue making the most of digital teaching technology but the return to school will allow children to go back to their familiar environment under strict hygiene rules.

Last week the Education Minister announced that final year pupils in public and private schools would go back to school on May 11 to prepare for university entry exams with 12 pupils maximum per class for protection against coronavirus.

Today Prodromou said that classes will be held on a rotating basis, with pupils divided into two groups.

Group One will attend class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then they will be replaced by Group Two on Thursday and Friday. Group Two will continue classes on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday and Group One will take over on Thursday-Friday to continue on the three first days of the following week and so on.

The Pancyprian (university entry) exams for final year pupils at public schools will begin on June 9. Exact dates for each course will be announced at a later date.

Opening of schools on May 21 in detail:

The remaining children, apart from final year pupils, will return to school on May 21, including nursery school children, kindergartens, primary, lower and upper secondary schools. All classes will take place in rooms with no more than 12 pupils following the same two-group rotation system as mentioned above.

Pupils and parents will be informed of hygiene rules on the first day back to school, and all schools will be disinfected before their reopening.

20,000 tests will also be made available to teachers and pupils (with the consent of parents) before they go back to school on May 21 via mobile units.

In addition, bus routes taking children to/from school will be optimised in collaboration with the Transport Ministry for maximum protection against the virus.

Prodromou added that classes for all grades except for final year pupils will end on Friday, June 26.

Finally, he said that as of May 21, after-school private teaching institutes will resume operations as well as public afternoon / evening classes and private music schools.

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