JUNTA president Juanma Moreno’s proposal that schools reopen between May and June has been met by outrage.
The unions ANPE, CCOO and CSIF, together with members of the board of Education and the Andalucian Confederation of Parents’ Associations for Public Education (CODAPA), warn the proposal is too ‘rushed’ in the face of a health crisis.
The Junta’s proposal to open the schools in mid-May is one of the first proposed measures to take in lifting lockdown restrictions.
However, parents and Unions say that the return to schools can only be done if ‘the guarantees of safety and health are given.’
In a statement to Eurpa Press, Francisco Padilla, president of ANPE-Andalucia, said that the proposal was ‘too hasty.’
“Until the Central Health Department authorises it, it is not possible to open educational centres,” he said.
“In spaces where there is a high concentration of people and a lot of contact it would be very difficult to maintain social distance measures in schools.”
Diego Molina, the general secretary of the Federation of Education of CC OO of Andalucia, has said that the proposal is ‘more political’ than safeguarding ‘health.’
Molina said that children should not return to school until September.
The two-metre safety distance cannot be maintained in schools where hundreds of children come together.
Molina further criticised the Junta’s bid to have schools open in May so that parents could go back to work, pointing out that many children could be picked up by their grandparents, a huge source of contagion.
“The wellbeing of child and grandparent should be above the economical need of parents to return to work,” he said.
There are teachers, parents and minors who welcome the news of a possible return to schools in May.
According to the BBC, recent modelling studies of COVID-19 predict that school closures alone only prevent 2%-4% of deaths.
Other social distancing interventions play a more critical role in controlling the pandemic.