Government lays out plans ahead of school reopenings

Students in CP and above, as well as teachers, will be required to wear masks when Monaco schools resume next week. The government may also decide to close schools again if the Principality is declared a “red zone”.
During the traditional pre-school press conference held on Tuesday 1st September, Isabelle Bonnal, Director of National Education, Youth and Sports, noted that 5,774 students will be heading back to the classroom within the week, on Monday 7th September.
As part of return to school health measures, students aged from six years – or in CP – and teachers will be required to wear masks. Hydroalcoholic gel will be made available in all institutions and barrier practices such hand washing and social distancing will be encouraged. Masks will be distributed if necessary.
Meanwhile, the education minister outlined three scenarios according to the evolution of the coronavirus in the Principality.
Firstly, in the event of moderate circulation of the virus, which is currently the case, Isabelle Bonnal said that “the functioning of schools will be normal, with the application of regulatory health measures”.
Secondly, in the event that someone tests positive for Covid-19, student or staff member, the entire class will have to self-quarantine for 14 days and students will continue classes remotely.
Finally, if circulation of the virus becomes very active, categorising Monaco as a “red zone”, the Prince’s government may make the tough decision to close schools once again. Students will then follow distance education, as was the case during confinement.
The minister noted that digital technology has proven to be an effective solution for distance education and highlighted the fact that the Princely Government has launched the E-education project, as part of the Extended Monaco program, to “prepare students to evolve in a world where digital is the norm, a world where information is more and more accessible and where digital tools are mastered.”
Around 500 laptops have already been distributed to teachers to enable them to “develop digital practices in the classroom in secure conditions”. Additional computers will also be distributed to students in the Principality.
Ms Bonnal said that there will be no Covid-19 screening tests carried out within the schools themselves and insisted that respecting barrier measures and wearing a mask “is sufficient enough to avoid any contamination, given that the establishments are disinfected three to four times a day”.
Photo © Michael Alesi – Direction de la communication