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Germany: Fear of infection as schools reopen

There is a fear of school being opened in Germany as students are already preparing to return. Some parents and children think that the authorities are being too hasty in the easing of the lockdowns as the situation with the coronavirus is still very much at large.

Schools in Germany closed down in March when lockdown had to be enforced to save the coronavirus from spreading. The federal government announced that they would probably reopen gradually from the 4th of may. The ideas was floated that students in their final years of exams would be first to get back.

Some states have already reopened schools.

What do parents feel about the decision?

Some parents are questioning authorities on this decisions but officials have drawn up guidelines they feel confident will prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. These are such measures as: 1.5 m spacing between desk, facilities for washing hands and adequate supplies of disinfectant.

Susanne Hauser, a law firm employee whose daughter is supposed to be graduating this year, has her doubts that these guidelines will really be put in place.

“I know what the toilets look like at my daughter’s school,” said Hauser, who is 53 years old and considered to be in a high-risk group for COVID-19 because she has asthma and emphysema. “She tries to avoid them as much as possible.”

For the moment, graduating students in NRW have been told that they can choose whether to go to school or to prepare for their exams at home. But Hauser is annoyed that her daughter is being forced to make this decision: “She doesn’t want to miss anything on the one hand; on the other, what’s the point of her getting the final high-school certificate if she loses a parent?”

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It is suspicious that decisions that concern teens and children are being made too hastily after several weeks of lockdown, after several weeks at home it does not gauge well that it should come to a sudden stop while the virus is still prominent and a vaccine is still not available.

Should schools be boycotted?

Students have also taken up acts of activism to boycott the reopening online. The action has attracted a lot of support of thousands of their peers in the process. Students are not only worried about getting infected with the coronavirus but also that they are ill prepared to take the exams and they will be forced to take them when not in the right mind frame or conditions.  Many think that they should be graded on the coursework that they have already completed and that students who want to go to school to improve their marks should be permitted to, but that it should not be compulsory.

Some students feel they are being used as pawns or lab rats for this grand experiment.

Read also:Important regulations for parents who want to apply for Children’s Allowance (Kinderzuschlag) in Germany