The Buenos Aires government ordered the return to full presence in schools as of Wednesday

On Wednesday all the boys will go back to school Photo: Eva Cabrera

From the agreement at the national level, the Buenos Aires government updated the provincial protocol and ordered the return of full presence in all municipalities as of Wednesday. In this way, the children will return to the classrooms from Monday to Friday during normal class hours.

The update of the jurisdictional plan is part of the adjustment made last week by the Federal Council of Education. It reduces the distance from 1.5 meters to 90 centimeters and mentions the possibility of exceptional situations, in which even more children can be incorporated into the classroom “strengthening other mitigation measures”.

“At present, the epidemiological situation of all the Buenos Aires districts allows progress towards these modalities”, confirmed a source from the General Directorate of Culture and Education (DGCyE). To promote the return of full presence, different guidelines are mentioned:

-The correct use of chinstrap.

-The adequate ventilation, which “will be facilitated by the more favorable weather conditions typical of the coming months, which will allow a greater increase in the opening of doors and windows,” they warn.

-The maximum possible social distance within the classroom with a maximum capacity of one person per square meter.

Governor Axel Kicillof ordered a return to full presence in schools
Governor Axel Kicillof ordered a return to full presence in schools

-The minimum social distance of two meters between groups of different courses in the common spaces of the school.

-The personal hygienel, cleaning and disinfection of spaces.

-Active surveillance for the detection of asymptomatic cases for teachers and assistants.

-The preventive isolation of suspected cases and their close contacts.

From those measurements, Buenos Aires students will recover their routine after more than a year and a half. During almost all of 2020, the boys had – in the best of cases – virtual classes. Only at the end of the year was a partial return enabled in the districts least affected by the pandemic. In 2021 the irregularity marked the school year: the students attended alternately – one week in group A and the other in group B – and even face-to-face classes were completely suspended again during the peak of the second wave.

“The objective of this stage is to guarantee the full well-attended presence of the entire section on their usual day. Regular working hours are understood to mean attending classes every day at the time the student must attend school ‘normally’ ”They explained from the educational portfolio.

The DGCyE circulated among the schools a series of criteria to reorganize full attendance from Wednesday. In the communication they state that the unit to be considered now is the complete course, but they insist that the greatest possible distance between the students be sought. With teachers the minimum distance is still two meters. Management teams are also invited to use other spaces to teach classes such as patios, multipurpose rooms, music rooms or dining rooms.

The organization in the classroom will be the traditional one: with the students placed in rows, preferably with 90 centimeters of distance between them, facing the blackboard. The entries and exits of the courses will continue to be staggered, in the same way as the breaks, so as not to generate crowds or interactions between the different bubbles.

However, the same statement opens an asterisk for the future. “The experience accumulated in almost a year and a half since the beginning of the pandemic indicates that the epidemiological situation can offer essential turns and, therefore, these definitions will be permanently monitored and reviewed, as has always happened and as this dynamic situation demands ”.

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