School in Rhineland-Palatinate starts again on Monday after the summer vacation. For the students, this means, among other things, to observe the new corona rules again:
“We are starting the new school year with caution and confidence,” said Education Minister Stefanie Hubig (SPD) with a view to August 30th. Today we know more about the coronavirus and that the hygiene concepts work very well and are being implemented excellently by the schools.
As before the holidays, the schools in Rhineland-Palatinate will start on-site. The guidelines from the Corona hygiene plan for schools continue to apply in the new school year. Among other things, this stipulates that fixed seating arrangements must be adhered to in the class and course rooms. Study groups should not be mixed up if this is not absolutely necessary for organizational reasons.
Regular ventilation of the classrooms is still required. Airing must take place before the start of the lesson, every 20 minutes during the lesson, during the breaks and after the lesson. Pupils who have an infection with general cold symptoms are not allowed to attend school.
Many schools in the region continue to rely on traditional window ventilation when they start school. In order to better protect children and young people, air purification systems and devices are also used in many circles.
The pupils will probably be the least happy about this change: When school starts, masks have to be worn again in class. This initially applies to the first two weeks after the vacation. The reason is the increasing number of corona infections.
In the school building, on the way to the square in the classroom, the protective mask must also still be worn. The only thing is that no mask is required in the schoolyard. The regulations also apply to teachers. It was not until June that the mask requirement was abolished in class where the incidence was below 35.
All students and teachers who have not been vaccinated or recovered are required to take a self-test at school twice a week. The tests are paid for by the country. It is also possible to present a test certificate at the beginning of the school day. According to the Ministry of Education, this rule initially applies until the autumn break. The most important goal remains to continue to hold on to face-to-face teaching.
The seven-day incidence has recently risen again noticeably in Rhineland-Palatinate. In some regions, stricter corona rules already apply. The current development here in the blog.
Originally, the tests were only planned for the first two weeks after the summer vacation. The ministry justifies the fact that the measures are now being tightened with the increasing incidences, which are also attributed to returning travelers. Another new feature is that all test results are anonymously transmitted electronically by the schools to the school inspectorate on a weekly basis.
For the opposition CDU, the test regulation in schools does not go far enough: students and teachers who have not recovered or have been vaccinated should be tested three times a week, demanded CDU parliamentary group leader Christian Baldauf. On the one hand, a higher test frequency serves as an incentive to get vaccinated. On the other hand, it is about the protection of those who have been vaccinated or have recovered.
Pupils who have not been vaccinated or who have recovered and who return from a high-risk area shortly before the end of the holidays cannot attend classes initially. Instead, they have to be quarantined. This applies if you have been in a high-risk area in the past ten days when you started school. According to the Ministry of Health, it does not matter whether a country or region was only declared a high-risk area when the holiday had already started.
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The quarantine at home generally lasts ten days. Five days for children under 12 years of age. The quarantine can be ended prematurely if a negative corona test is transmitted. However, testing can only be carried out five days after entry at the earliest. Schoolchildren in quarantine should receive educational offers from schools so that they can study at home.
Most teachers in Rhineland-Palatinate are now fully vaccinated, according to Education Minister Hubig. A vaccination recommendation for adolescents from the age of 12 has recently also been in effect. In Rhineland-Palatinate, 27.6 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have now been vaccinated at least once, according to the Robert Koch Institute, 15.9 percent are fully vaccinated.
The state government advises to use the existing vaccination offers.
“We can achieve more normality, and that is very important so that schools can develop all their potential and become a place of mutual learning, living and laughing again,” said Hubig. On the last weekend of the summer holidays there will be a family vaccination day, which is aimed primarily at children and adolescents. Families can get vaccinated on August 28th in vaccination centers and vaccination buses.
CDU parliamentary group leader Baldauf also spoke out in favor of offering vaccinations directly at or in front of the schools. This could be done in vaccination buses, for example. The more flexible the offers, the better it is, said Baldauf.