As of 1 December, teaching in high schools will be allowed to take place alternately, part in-person and part online.
The announcement was made by Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu in a statement to the media. She said she had recommended to the Ministry of Education to develop alternative ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Minister said:
“Following the recommendation of the Committee of Experts, we have decided to recommend that from 1 December, schools should apply the scenarios that provide for alternate teaching i.e. in the traditional setting with a physical presence, and distance online learning. This will be based on the specifics of the education system and local data in cooperation with health authorities.
Despite the recommendation, Manastirliu reiterated that children are not considered the main transmitters of COVID-19.
Director of the Institute for Public Health Albana Fico explained the government’s change of strategy.
“Schools are not a hotbed of infection. This means that children are not high-level transmitters. But we are also entering winter which means there are viruses likely. We have an increase in the cases of other viruses including respiratory infections, but not COVID-19.”
The Democratic Party has opposed the decisions, saying it’s unreasonable to make a total change in just 24 hours.
Chairman Lulzim Basha said it is an example of the fact that the government has no proper plan for the pandemic.
“We cannot fight the pandemic and win the battle to defeat it and save people’s lives with random decisions,” he said.