Relaxations in education and extracurricular activities start today
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Relaxations in education and extracurricular activities start today

Credit: Belga

The first series of relaxations will be made in education starting from Monday, mainly aiming to ease restrictions for younger people, from those in primary education to those in universities and colleges.

Several politicians urged for faster relaxations for this age group, arguing that younger people have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus crisis.

From Monday onwards, students in higher education, including universities and colleges, can choose to follow part of their classes face-to-face, after being forced into distanced learning since autumn last year.

However, student attendance on campuses and in schools must never pass the threshold of 20%, up from 10%, and the occupancy of auditoriums has also been limited to a maximum of 200 people.

All students must wear face masks indoors at all times and adhere to a physical distancing of 1.50m between people, whilst the institutions must guarantee that buildings are cleaned, disinfected, and ventilated regularly.

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Primary and secondary schools

Both in ordinary and special education secondary schools, physical and sports education classes may be resumed under strict sanitary conditions including prioritising outdoor activities, strict cleaning of changing rooms and equipment, and not exchanging equipment between children.

Extracurricular activities lasting a maximum of one day can also resume for all pupils in nursery, primary, ordinary and specialised secondary schools.

Again, several rules must be respected when doing so, as all activities must take place within the class groups, and travel must be done on foot or in reserved transport. These classes are therefore not allowed to use public transport, and pupils can not come in contact with people’s outside their class bubble.

Pupils who are in specialised secondary education, both in type 3 (with behavioural disorders) and 4 (with physical disabilities) can again attend school 100%.

Finally, social promotion education can also continue with 20% face-to-face lessons.

During the last Consultative Committee, the government announced that primary and secondary school pupils should be able to physically attend classes again on a full-time basis after the Easter holidays, however education unions have argued this is too soon.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times