Ministry of Education passes full responsibility for reopening schools on to principals and local governments


According to new regulations announced by the Ministry of Education, in most cases, the full responsibility for reopening schools amid the epidemic will fall on school principals and local governments. – We’re being forced to join the battle with nothing but our bare hands- says Marek Pleśniar, managing director of the Polish Association of Education Managers.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Dariusz Piontkowski, announced that the current state of epidemic allows for reopening „an overwhelming majority of educational facilities”. – Only schools in red and yellow areas, where the number of infection cases is relatively high, might have to follow additional preventive measures – he added.

Schools in red zones will be banned from organizing school trips and mass events. They should also make sure that there is only one class in each available assembly hall. –Wherever possible, we recommend to plan the breaks in a way that will allow students to follow social distancing guidelines. For instance, breaks could be organized on a rotational basis, meaning that only some classes could be out in the hallway during the break – says Izabela Kucharska, deputy chief sanitary inspector.

When asked whether local governments can count on the state for financial support to help them comply with sanitary restrictions once the schools reopen, during a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of Education said: – This epidemic is not the government’s fault. The costs it has generated have to be shared equally among the central and local governments, but also private businesses. It’s simply impossible to help everyone and refund everything. The government has spent billions to alleviate the effects of the epidemic. Schools, and not only the public ones, received some of the funds. We provided disinfectants to anyone who applied for them. Several thousand schools received cost-free dispensers – he listed the examples. – After all, it’s the principal’s duty to provide students with enough soap and paper.

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photo: Kamila Kotusz / Agencja Gazeta

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