Amidst the uncertainties that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the area of education, the government of the state of São Paulo confirmed, on Wednesday (13), that it will demand the mandatory return to in-person classes across the state.
Following the pace of the recovery plan that the government had already announced in August, the state schools in São Paulo should operate with 100% capacity from Monday (18th).
For the private and municipal networks, a deadline for adaptation to the new system will be made available: until November 3, “bubble” regimes (groups of different students each day) will be alternated and, from that date, attendance of all simultaneously in class will be mandatory.
The Secretary of Education of São Paulo, Rossieli Soares, also pointed out that the pre-established security measures should be maintained:
The decree that altera the return to face-to-face teaching, until then optional in the State, releases exceptions for:
- Students from 12 years of age with comorbidities or frailty in relation to Covid-19, upon presentation of a medical justification.
- Pregnant and postpartum women.
- Students under 12 years old, belonging to the risk group.
Rossieli also highlighted the reason for the interest of the state government in an immediate return of the education system to normality. “The attendance of on-site students has been between 65 and 70%, which leaves a very large number without going to schools. We still have the challenge of young people who are evading, so the longer it takes, the worse it will be for this entire generation. If we want to talk about the future, education must be a priority”, he said at a press conference.
The government also declared that, starting in November, the distancing within the class will be revised and that new information will be made available.
Safety in the midst of the pandemic
Although the area of education has been following a pace of flexibility since the beginning of the year, doubts regarding the real capacity of public education schools to comply with the determinations and on the safety of students and teachers against the virus.
It is noteworthy that vaccination in children under 12 years of age has not been approved in Brazil for the time being and that the campaign for adolescents is still ongoing.
In September, the World Health Organization (WHO) had already released recommendations for going back to school, including social distancing, use of masks and alcohol in the hands. The agency also stressed that the ideal was to strive for the reduction in the number of students and teachers in environments such as bathrooms and at meal times.
“From a public health perspective, the decision to close or reopen schools should be guided by a risk-based approach, taking into account the epidemiology of COVID-19 at the local level and the capacity of educational institutions to adapt their system. to operate safely” declared in a report.