This Monday the total reimbursement of secondary education to the presence in the classroom is completed. With the authorization for the return of students from the 2nd and 3rd years of basic cycle, plus those from the 5th year of high school or high school at UTU, some 169 thousand students will return to their classes for the first time since March 23, the date on which President Luis Lacalle Pou announced an absolute return to virtuality in education in the face of the wave of infections.
The first step at the secondary school level had already been taken last Monday, July 12. It was there that the educational centers opened the doors for a group of 178 thousand students of 1st, 4th and 6th grade of Secondary. Each institution has the autonomy to organize attendance in order to ensure compliance with current protocols.
35% of young people between 15 and 19 years old have already been inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, according to data from the vaccination monitor of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP). Within this age range, 69% have at least the first injection of the US drug. Among those of 12 to 14 years, there is already 6% with both doses, while 60% of that population has their first injection.
“Presence is irreplaceable in educational terms and important for the functioning of families. When we finish applying this plan, all students in Uruguay will be attending in person”, the Minister of Education, Pablo Da Silveira, had assured in a press conference that preceded the return.
In that instance, the president of the Central Directive Council (Codicen) of the National Public Education Administration (ANEP), Robert Silva, remarked that “it is ridiculous” to keep the end-of-year evaluations as planned. The hierarch assured that will adapt to current circumstances, as it happened in 2020, to achieve that the educational paths of students are not impaired.
Liceo Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga in the first stage back to the presence
According to a report accompanying the ANEP Accountability Report, only 40% of the students in the levels that depend on that organization managed to connect and successfully follow the classes last year, when there were several months in which there was no presence. In high schools only 63% managed to maintain contact, while in UTU 59% did. In an “active” way, 56% and 49% did so, respectively.
This July 19, the authorization to begin with the presence in the universities also enters into force, although said reimbursement depends on the autonomy of each institution. The University of the Republic (Udelar) had already enabled presence in its centers in Rivera, Tacuarembó and Montevideo in the face of more auspicious epidemiological scenarios.
The face-to-face classes must be given with the guarantee of one meter of distance between students, with “strict” use of face masks and good ventilation, for a time no longer than 90 minutes. However, when activities require more time (for being laboratory practices, clinical practices, among others) your hours can be extended provided that after 90 minutes the room is left free for the air exchange for 10 minutes.
Although these departments are enabled face-to-face evaluations that cannot be done in virtual format, should be developed in ventilated spaces, maintaining an interpersonal distance of two meters, with mandatory use of face masks, during a time no longer than 90 minutes and with a maximum capacity of 20 people per physical space. Classes under the exhibition modality must be maintained on digital platforms.
Meanwhile, on June 21 the return to the presence of the Initial and Primary cycles had already been completed.