Denmark was one of the first European countries to impose lockdown and is now the first to re-open Primary Schools.
Re-opening Primary Schools seems to be one of the earlier benchmarks Governments are considering to relax full lockdown rules. Germany is probably going to be the next.
The reasons why?
- We need to get employed parents back to work as soon as it’s deemed safe and that means children need to go back to school.
- Evidence so far suggests that children are less vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.
- School is a more controlled setting and in theory it will be easier to achieve a safe environment to kick-start breaking full lockdown.
There are critics in Denmark…
“We’re all a bit nervous and we’ll have to ensure that we stick to hygiene rules,” Elisa Rimpler of the BUPL, the Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators, told the BBC.
“We have a lot of washing hands during the day. We don’t have masks and we have to keep a good distance from each other so that’s a very difficult task.”
There is talk that UK Primary schools will re-open in early to mid-May and that’s not too far away. We hope and think that Government advisors and health specialists should support teachers with guidelines on how to operate safely to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
The Danish Government has regulations that now require Primary Schools to make sure the children are split into smaller groups, can wash their hands immediately upon arrival and at least every two hours, and that contact surfaces like sinks, toilet seats and door handles are disinfected twice daily.
Schools are also printing maps that mark entrance and exit routes and ensuring children remain outside as much as possible.
It will be challenging for sure, but it will be one of the significant first steps to getting back to normality.
One point that COVID 19 has highlighted to many of us is how important a healthy lifestyle is. Movement and exercise is nature’s medicine and our EIGER classroom standing desks help with that. To have a new generation of young adults who understand that sitting is not the only way you have to “work” has so many positive impacts. We like that a lot.