Thousands of Albanian children will return to school today after the summer break and the COVID-19 lockdown.
Education Minister Besa Shahi wished students good luck for the start of the new year and called for them to respect safety protocols so COVID-19 can be controlled. She said the government has “taken measures”to ensure a good start to the year.
The government has been criticised for not having a thorough plan for the reopening of schools. Many schools are at capacity or overcrowded therefore will struggle with social distancing measures. Some classes will be taught in shifts meaning teachers will work an extra 3-4 hours a day with no additional salary. Some schools do not have adequate running water or toilet facilities to facilitate some hygiene measures.
Furthermore, none of the schools damaged by the earthquake have been rebuilt meaning there are thousands of children who will have to attend already at-capacity educational institutions.