After the confusion caused by a trill from the Ministry of Health about whether or not the face-to-face return to the classrooms in Bogotá had been authorized, the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, clarified that his ministry agrees and favors the return of children and young people to class, under alternation.
(Starting on Monday, the progressive return of schools in Bogotá begins).
Thus, the return will be progressive and for now the attendance of 100 percent of the student capacity to schools and educational institutions is not contemplated.
According to Minister Ruiz, the approach that is being changed is that of capacity in schools, but not their return to classes.
“This ministry agrees and favors the return of children to class, under alternation. According to resolution 1721 of 2021, the only limitation for return is the distance of one meter in closed areas and two meters in open areas, which gives a much higher capacity than that announced by some municipalities “Ruiz said.
He also pointed out that not returning to class generates adverse situations in the mental health of minors, loss of physical capacity or vision, obesity problems, even greater risk of child abuse.
“There should be no delays and other additional restrictions to distancing and hand washing in the return to classes, we need to regain opportunities for physical and intellectual growth for children”, he pointed out.
This was the trill that caused confusion:
On the presence in schools and universities in Bogotá, with reduced capacity, from the @MinSaludCol We want to specify that the advisory committee on February 2 did not approve this measure.
– MinSaludCol (@MinSaludCol) February 3, 2021
In this regard, Julián Fernández-Niño, director of Epidemiology and Demography of the Ministry of Health, pointed out that the imperative in the case of returning to the classroom is to “guarantee physical distancing and biosecurity in educational centers.” In addition, setting an arbitrary capacity could compromise the right to education.
The mayor insisted that The protocols of the education sector are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the Secretary of Education of Bogotá and not of the epidemiological committee of the Ministry of Health, adding that “by complying with the protocols and biosafety measures, private schools will be able to restart on February 8 and public schools on fifteen”.
The alternation model proposed by the secretary does not contemplate the attendance of 100 percent of the capacity of students to the schools and the students willing to attend must have the endorsement of their parents.
According to figures from the Ministry of Education (SED), at this time 120 public schools and 580 kindergartens and private schools already meet the requirements to start their process of progressive alternation, as well as 70 higher education institutions, 111 of education for work and 16 Seine branches.
District institutions they already have 1,151 digital thermometers; 11,202 bases for gel dispensers; 4,999 hand towel dispensers; 932 self-contained and dual portable sinks; 1,344 self-contained portable sinks with dispenser; 4,801 mats with biocomponents and 1’1031,896 washable textile material masks for students.
“The alternation model will be practically all year 2021, it will also be subject to the behavior of the pandemic in each territory and the level of alerts that are had”, the president, Iván Duque, highlighted yesterday.