As of September, and the start of the new school year, pupils up to the fifth grade will go to school regularly, just like before the pandemic, but they will have to wear protective masks indoors. Pupils older than 12 will also return to school but not in full numbers.
On the other hand, school subjects like physical education, music and creative activities that require collective participation could be allowed, but only outdoors. Parents will most likely be able to request online classes for their children if they deem it necessary for health reasons.
However, that is only in a plan that will be approved only if it fits the epidemiological situation before children start school.
If children older than 12 years of age are to attend classes that have around 30 pupils, then they all need to be vaccinated, the government’s Crisis Response Team says, but considering that there is less than a month left until they start school, something like that is not really feasible. According to the latest data, about 4,000 children in Serbia have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, which is still a small percentage.
Both younger and older students will have to wear masks indoors, although research has shown that children are not at high risk of developing coronavirus-related illnesses, they can certainly be carriers.
“We will probably have to leave the option for parents to choose online classes for their children if there is a good reason for that. In order for the educational system to develop well, there must be cooperation between educators, parents, and the health system, namely, experts who are in charge of assessing the current epidemiological situation,” says epidemiologist Branislav Tiodorović.
This post is also available in: Italiano