On Tuesday, April 14, the government introduced a plan for slow return of citizens’ lives back to the usual non-restrictive manner. The plan provides details not only for re-opening of business, but also the gradual return of students back to schools. Similarly, the return will be done in at least five waves, provided that the development of the epidemic will remain in current course. The first schools to open are going to be universities on Monday, April 20. Other types of schools will follow. For example, elementary schools will be re-opened in two separate waves – first stage elementary school pupils (1st to 5th grade) will return on May 25 in the form of modified school groups.
The Ministry of Education expects that school groups will be open not only in the morning hours for teaching, but also in afternoon hours and will be gradually transformed into a kind of school club. School groups are intended to ease the situation of families, which have to assist in home-schooling at the present moment. Children in school groups should be assisted with tasks given by teachers in distance and get home with reduced homework. Each group should be consistent – children from different groups will not be merged, and each group may have a maximum of 15 children. Wearing masks in a group will be decided by a teacher. In case of common areas of a school, covering mouth and nose would be mandatory.
However, if parents decide to send their child to a school group, they will no longer be entitled to nursing financial benefit. Nursing benefit is payed to parents who take care of children up to 13 years of age and the measure is in effect for the whole period of schools’ closure due to coronavirus epidemic.
The whole plan of schools re-opening follows. The process will be done in five waves reflecting the re-opening of business and cultural events. However, changes may occur depending on the epidemic development.
From Monday, April 20:
- Universities (scientific and academic institutions) - individual activities for students in the last year of study always up to a maximum of 5 persons. In detail, the loosening of restriction applies to, for example, individual consultations and examinations, especially state final and rigorous examinations. It will also be possible to individually visit a library or study room, but only for the purpose of receiving or returning study literature.
From Monday, May 11:
- Final year students of secondary schools, conservatories and higher professional schools – however, only for preparation for maturita examination, final examination and graduate examination (absolutorium)
- Individual lessons at elementary art schools and language schools with the right of state language examination
- Full-time teaching in schools at children's homes with schools, educational and diagnostic institutions
From Monday, May 25:
- Personal presence of first stage pupils of elementary schools (1st to 5th grade) is possible together with organized and hobby activities of non-compulsory option in the form of school groups – recommended a maximum of 15 children in a group (one child per one school desk), without the possibility to move children from one group to another, wearing face masks in classrooms is recommended (to wear or not decides a teacher of particular subject), wearing face masks is compulsory in the common areas of a school
- Teaching and education at elementary art schools, language schools with the right of state language examination, teaching at leisure centres and children's and youth houses – a maximum of 5 children
Not sooner than Monday, June 1:
- The possibility of maturita and final examinations and graduations (absolutoria) at conservatories and higher professional schools
- The limited possibility to provide practical training lessons – vocational training at secondary school and higher professional schools – conditions are similar as those of school groups
- The possibility of performing unified entrance and school entrance examinations at secondary schools
- Performing of consultations and occasional educational activities in smaller groups for second stage pupils of elementary schools (6th to 9th grade) and secondary schools in the form of classroom lessons