Covid-19, Education and Science, Estonia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 22.09.2020, 03:56

Tallinn schools dispersing students, implementing partial distance learning

BC, Tallinn, 15.09.2020.Print version
In order to curb a growing threat of the coronavirus, Tallinn schools have begun dispersing students and partially switching to distance learning where needed from Monday.

Deputy mayor of Tallinn Vadim Belobrovtsev said that schools in the Estonian capital city are implementing the principle of dispersion from Monday in accordance with each school's specific characteristics and options, according to spokespeople for the city government.

"Partial distance learning is for grades eight and older; however, schools can offer this [option] for younger age groups, too, if it is necessary and in line with the school's specificities," Belobrovtsev said.

"Partial distance learning will not be used with students in grades one to four as we want to ensure direct contact learning for students for as long as possible. Students can be switched to distance learning for up to one week. At present, at least 80 percent of Tallinn schools have implemented the measure of dispersion. We understand that such preventive measures cause a temporary inconvenience, but we're doing it to avoid stricter restrictions," he added.

Schools' implementation of distance learning varies according to their crisis plans as is carried out on a weekly or daily basis or some other way. 

Students will be dispersed and switched to distance learning in Tallinn schools until the start of the school holiday on October 19.

The Tallinn Education Department has been making preparations in cooperation with schools to curb the spread of the coronavirus as efficiently as possible. 

Precautions include identification of virus symptoms in students, acquisition of thermal cameras for this purpose and preparation of an isolation room. In order to reduce physical contact between students, schools have dispersed students' entry into school buildings, spread out the start of classes, recess times and lunch breaks and are making use of their outdoor learning options. 

Where possible, students will not be made to change classrooms during the school day. Partial remote instruction will be provided where needed for students in the second and third school levels and high school. Teachers, particularly those in at-risk groups will use visors in class. Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces will be carried out more thoroughly.

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