Schools in Argentina’s capital began reopening on Tuesday as part of a gradual return to in-person classes amid the pandemic.
Graduates from a dozen public schools resumed classes on Tuesday, city hall reported.
“It is a very important step, to return to school to end a key stage in their educational life,” said Deputy Mayor Diego Santilli.
Some elementary school students are expected to resume classes next week.
“Between the management of public and private schools, 70,000 boys and girls will be able to follow face-to-face courses which will complement the virtual spaces,” said Soledad Acuna, the highest education official in Buenos Aires.
Classes will take place in open courtyards and in a “bubble” of 10 students per group, to prevent any epidemic from spreading beyond the circle, school officials said.
The main teachers’ union rejected the decision to reopen schools, even partially.
The ADEMYS union has called on city authorities to instead provide computers and an Internet connection to economically vulnerable students who have not been able to maintain links with their schools.
“As long as the pandemic continues, as long as the virus is circulating in the community, we will not be returning to school in person or any type of in-person activity,” the union said in a statement calling for the strike. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Face-to-face classes were suspended in Argentina on March 15, just after the start of the southern hemisphere school year.
Since then, classes have continued virtually through Zoom and other internet platforms.
The resumption of classes announced last Friday is part of a process to relax containment measures in Buenos Aires and the surrounding region, where nearly a third of Argentina’s 44 million inhabitants live.
The number of new infections has declined in the capital, although it still averages around 900 per day.
However, infections are on the rise in parts of the country, forcing authorities to reverse plans to reopen schools.
To date, Argentina has reported more than 903,000 cases of the coronavirus, with a total of 24,186 deaths.
© 2020 AFP