Hundreds of thousands of Albania students returned to school yesterday in the midst of a global pandemic. With hygiene protocols stated by the Ministry of Health and Education, students are required to socially distance, wash hands frequently, and wear masks.
As Exit previously reported, there is a problem in many schools in rural areas of the country or those outside of Tirana. Many schools do not have running water or proper toilets where children are able to wash their hands in line with hygiene protocol. Several examples were noted in and around Elbasan.
More schools without running water have been identified in Kukes and Vlora. A number of them lack running water and cleaning has to be done with water collected in barrels. It is not possible for children to wash their hands in these conditions.
Despite this situation, Health Minister Ogerta Manastriliu addressed school children yesterday, inviting them to frequently wash their hands. Minister of Education Besa Shahini made a similar post.
The Ministry of Education claims that the water supply to schools is not under their remit but is rather the responsibility of the individual municipality
Conditions in a number of these schools include old-style Turkish toilets, some toilets that were little more than holes in the ground, barrels of water, lack of supply, and sewage leaks. Despite these conditions, children were allowed to return to the schools yesterday.