The minister of education and science, Przemysław Czarnek, said that the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet reached schools. It stated that 99.9 percent of students study in a full-time mode. He noted that “it is not the number of daily infections, but hospitalizations and the efficiency of the health service” that will determine the transition to remote mode.
The Minister of Education and Science, asked on the Polish Radio First Program about the situation in schools in the context of the increasing number of daily cases of coronavirus infections, assured that he is in daily contact with the Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski, with his services, with Krzysztof Saczka, head of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, and also with probation officers, who are in turn in touch with school principals.
– We collect information on what is happening in schools every day. I would like to assure you that this fourth wave of the pandemic has not yet hit schools. 99.9 percent of students study in full-time mode – said Czarnek. He added that “only seven out of over 20,000 facilities operate remotely.” – In several dozen cases we are dealing with a hybrid, i.e. a situation in which individual classes were sent to quarantine and remote learning due to an infectious outbreak, but this applies to 0.1 percent of students – he said. “So the situation is very good,” he assessed.
What will determine the transition of schools to remote mode?
When asked what data will be decisive when it comes to transferring learning to remote mode, the head of MEiN replied: about switching to remote mode of a particular department, class or the whole school if an infectious outbreak occurs in individual schools.
– As far as the systemic solution is concerned, there is a threat to full-time education only when the efficiency of the health care system is actually put in a situation such as during the third or second wave of the coronavirus, when we have actually seen very big problems in the health service – overcrowded hospitals, including temporary ones that were prepared to combat covid and then we would actually have to make decisions to limit social contacts – said Czarnek.
He said that “four million 600 thousand children study in schools, and therefore in the worldwide movement, looking at all those who are in this worldwide movement, that is from a few to several million people a day, then actually in order to break social contacts and such a decision would have to be made to stop the transmission of the coronavirus.
He noted that “it is not the number of daily infections, but the number of hospitalizations and the efficiency of the health service that are really the decisive factor”.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported that research has confirmed 722 new coronavirus infections, 10 people with COVID-19 have died. A week ago, on September 9, the ministry informed about 510 infections, and two weeks ago, on September 2 – about 390.
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP