Friday 5 March 2021

Private schools could return to classes in January

The Ministry of Education gave the green light to private educational centers to reopen

QCOSTARICA – Private schools in Costa Rica have the green light to restart face-to-face classes starting in January.

This Monday an agreement was reached between the Association of Private Educational Centers (ACEP) and the Department of Private Centers of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP).

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According to Beatriz Ramírez, vice president of ACEP, private educational centers would start in January with a hybrid modality, with some students who could return to the classroom and others who would stay at home, attending the class virtually.

The MEP is expected to give more details about this today, Tuesday, but, for now, what is known that there is a green light and that each educational center will be responsible for enforcing the protocol established by the MEP and the Ministry of Health.

Of course: according to Ramírez, the families’ criteria of sending or not sending their children back to the classroom will be respected due to a particular situation, a risk factor, or for living with people with risk factors.

The pandemic has forced classes in 2020 to be taught virtually, but education experts say that this leads to a drop in quality.

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The ACEP vice-president said: “If my son goes to the mall, to the beach, if he travels, if he goes out a lot, all the more reason he can go to school which are safer places for them to be, is a more controlled environment because there are people ensuring compliance with the protocols. If there are compelling reasons for the student not being able to return, the educational center has to respect it and see how it covers that student’s classes with virtuality”.

“I invite parents to trust the educational center, clarify doubts. Children should, for health reasons, return to their school activities, it is an integral issue beyond the academic part,” added Ramírez

She explained that the classes will return regardless of the number of cases of covid-19 that are registered. However, she said that if there is a very high peak in the country and the authorities must prohibit activities, the ACEP it will also consider suspending face-to-face classes entirely.

“Contingencies are going to be generated, (the Ministry of) Health would have to determine if activities are closed. In other countries, it has been determined that education should remain open regardless of the peak that is experienced, it has been determined that the return to face-to-face does not imply an increase in cases. If they put restrictions on us, let them put them on other activities, because we are the only ones who have not been able to return,” she added.

Regarding the purchase of uniforms, books or other supplies, parents should contact each educational center to reach agreements.

For its part, the MEP is conducting a survey to prepare the return to classrooms in public educational centers. The consultation is being carried out at 48 centers throughout the country, and is carried out by the Department of Statistics and Educational Research.

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