Most schools to return to regular lessons - education minister

Piontkowski said the "vast majority" of educational establishments, including schools, preschools and kindergartens, could return to normal lessons with direct contact between teachers and pupils. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Most municipalities in Poland have a standard epidemiological situation, which enables school directors to prepare for a return to traditional lessons, Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski has said.

The education minister added that only 'red' and 'yellow' municipalities will have additional restrictions.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Piontkowski and Deputy Chief Sanitary Inspector Izabela Kucharska outlined the safety rules governing children's return to school. Piontkowski said the "vast majority" of educational establishments, including schools, preschools and kindergartens, could return to normal lessons with direct contact between teachers and pupils.

He said a "safe return to school" was possible due to the cooperation of several ministries and institutions, which were in contact over the issue. He added that in taking the decision, his ministry was guided not only by Polish experience but also by what is happening in other countries, in Europe and globally.

The education minister also outlined procedures in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in a school. He said that a mixed model (so-called model B) of regular and remote lessons should be adopted or a so-called model C scenario, where all lessons are conducted remotely. The mixed model would apply when certain pupils or groups are in quarantine and when, following a positive opinion of the sanitary inspector, they will continue lessons remotely.

He said distance learning would be arranged for pupils with communicable diseases, who receive a doctor's opinion that their illness can be a danger to others and whose condition indicates they should avoid contact with their peers.