Schools reopen in Romania

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday that Romanian schools will reopen on February 8 for most children in the country.

“We unanimously decided the following: starting Monday, most children will go to school physically.”

– said Iohannis at a press conference on February 2, at the Cotroceni Palace after having a meeting with Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, Minister of Education Sorin Cîmpeanu, Minister of Health Vlad Voiculescu, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs Raed Arafat and Director of the National Center for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases Adriana Pistol.

Schools are going to open in Romania on February 8, following three scenarios, which will be determined by the situation in each settlement:

  • In the so-called green-zone settlements (average of less than one infected person per thousand inhabitants), every student can return to school and kindergarten.
  • In the yellow-zone settlements (average of between one and three infected people per thousand inhabitants), children can return to kindergartens and school classes from 1st to 4th grade and in 8th and 12th grade.
  • In the red-zone settlements (average of more than three infected people per thousand inhabitants), only kindergartens and schools between 1st-4th grade will reopen. Fifth-grade students and older have to continue their studies via online learning.

In the quarantined localities, obviously, everyone stays home.

The president highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and the restrictive measures in place must be still respected. However, the incidence of the disease has decreased a bit in recent weeks.

Before making their decision, they examined what other EU member states are doing, and they saw that the vast majority of EU countries had already opened or are soon going to open schools; there are only three member states where schools remain closed, Iohannis explained.

The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ) pointed out that the decision to reopen schools was made after consulting with experts.

“We are happy about today’s decision because it is in line with what we have been asking for since November and with what we have been fighting for since December from a governmental position. Today’s decision is forward-looking, and it shows that the standpoint of RMDSZ — saying we have no time to waste and that this country cannot lose a whole generation because of the pandemic — prevailed,” reads the RMDSZ statement.

Title image: A school nurse measures the temperature of children that arrive for the first day of school in Bucharest, Romania, on September 14, 2020. A few weeks later, schools were closed across the country and will now reopen on February 8, 2021.  (Photo: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS)


Author: Attila Szoó