Back to school. Queues outside schools and many uncertainties

Endless queues and gatherings of parents and students at the doors of schools: this was the scenario, Thursday, in some establishments from north to south of the country in the return to face-to-face education – a day when, six months later, more than 1.2 millions of students went back to school at school in times of covid-19. And the rain – which also returned in some locations – did not help. “It was really bad! Everything is soaked! _Fila on the road ”or“ what a sadness to subject our children to this ”are two of the comments that can be read on social networks, where many parents have revealed their indignation. THE_i knows that, in some schools, “the enormous focus” of staff on disinfection and established standards has forced many parents and students to wait outside school establishments, sometimes causing large gatherings that lasted for long minutes, as as happened in several schools in Lisbon, namely at Escola EB 2,3 Eugénio dos Santos, in Alvalade, where most parents took their children in their own vehicles – which also ended up “clogging up” the streets.

“Of course, there are several problems and, in these cases on rainy days, adjustments have to be made. And these adjustments are being made as time goes by. This is the first week of classes. But, of course, if responsible behavior exists, many harmful consequences can be avoided and prevented. There will be, of course, issues to improve, I do not doubt that ”, admitted to the i the president of the National Confederation of Parents’ Associations (Confap), Jorge Ascenção, confessing that he even went to a school where he was faced with “a five-minute gathering” – which ended up being resolved quickly. “There are these problems”, he added, indicating that sometimes the difficulties also involve the parents’ attitude.

“Today I heard a mother say that some kids are too small to understand the rules due to the covid-19. Is not true. What we see are also parents at schools without complying with the rules that are written and defined by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and that have to be complied with on public roads. And we need to set that example for parents, ”said Jorge Ascenção, stressing, however, that these difficulties arise only in some schools and that,“ in most cases ”, the return to school was normal.

The president of the National Association of Group Directors and Public Schools (ANDAEP), Filinto Lima, went further and guaranteed the i that these problems were only detected in specific cases. “For now, from what I’ve noticed, things are going on normally, regularly. But I admit that the arrival of rain is an added problem, even when there was no covid-19. In this sense, if schools have to change some of the rules or procedures they have adopted, due to some situations, of course they will, ”he explained, stressing that educational establishments must have the“ humility ”to adjust to situations .

“We are sailing in sight, close to the coast, so they have to be very short-term plans. And parents also have an obligation to help us and tell us which situations are less positive. Whatever is less well, we are here ready to change ”, he added.

Lack of communication between schools and parents

To avoid getting parents and students together in schools, the best solution would be to create phased schedules so that students do not go to school at the same time of day, says Jorge Ascenção. But the lack of dialogue between schools and guardians has not yet allowed this to happen in all establishments.

“There are schools that left everything for today [ontem]. Schools should inform parents of different times so that they can present themselves at a certain time and that the student can immediately enter the classroom. If this is not said – and it has happened in some cases -, the parents are gathered at the school and then there is a gathering of people. And that’s where you have to be careful. If schools have phased schedules, it is not necessary to go all at the same time ”, he revealed, adding that sometimes, parents’ working hours are also not flexible enough.

“This is another problem. The companies where parents work do not keep up with their children’s schedules and always have to leave them at a certain time in schools ”, recalled Jorge Ascenção.

parents with fear of the future At Escola EB1 de Eixo, in Aveiro, the return to face-to-face classes was normal. But Paulo Barroca, whose 12-year-old son is starting his seventh year of schooling, does not believe that all this care due to covid-19 will last a long time. To i, revealed that it may be short-lived.

“Fortunately, it didn’t rain here. But the kids are waiting outside for school to enter. On rainy days it will be difficult to wait. There were no gatherings at the entrance, there was even enough order. What I doubt is that we will be able to maintain this level of discipline, both in students and employees, for a long time ”, he confessed.

The same organization did not take place in the Kindergarten and First Cycle of Bárrio, in Roriz, Barcelos, where parents and guardians blocked access to the school with logs at the entrance to the building and strips placed on the railing. They demand physical distance and protest against the closing of a classroom, as well as against the existence of mixed classes.


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