The Ministry of Education and 15 autonomous communities all except Madrid and the Basque Country have reached an agreement this Thursday in which they undertake to make “all the necessary efforts to ensure the face-to-face modality in all the education, levels and educational stages” from September. Only a month ago the option being considered was to alternate face-to-face and distance teaching.
The consensus on the merits of the matter is actually greater, since the Basque Country has agreed with the content of the text negotiated at the Sectorial Conference on Education, but has refused to sign it due to a question of competences. Catalonia has done so, although its Minister of Education, Josep Bargalló, stressed that it did so whenever it was considered a guiding document.
The pact has been clouded by the rejection of all the autonomies to a second document: the plan of hygienic and sanitary measures for a safe return to the classrooms prepared by the ministries of Health and Education presented 24 hours earlier .
The minister has warned, in that line, that if Madrid does not apply the distance of 1.5 meters, Suggested by its Minister of Education Enrique Ossorio, – who has used as an argument the “enormous” expense that would imply – it would be violating the law.
At the press conference after the Education Sector Conference, the Minister of Education, Isabel Celaá, also defended the idea, included in her proposal for returning to the classroom, that children from 0 to 10 years old do not have to save distance or wear a mask in exchange for forming “groups of stable coexistence”, do not mix with other students and operate “as a family.”
“Many countries are doing it this way,” he said, referring to this “bubble system,” although he noted that, like the rest of the protocol prepared by his ministry and the Ministry of Health, it is only a draft and that it is not “Mandatory” for the autonomous communities.
The Secretary of State, Alejandro Tiana, explained that in the “coexistence group” formula for the youngest, which is followed for example in Norway, children are isolated from other groups and accompanied in the classroom by a single adult or “Occasionally two”, which allows limiting the transmission of the virus.