Martí March, Education Minister & Patricia Gómez, Health Minister in Parliament.

Martí March, Education Minister & Patricia Gómez, Health Minister in Parliament.

01-09-2020Jaume Morey

The Government had three scenarios on the table for the start of the school year: Scenario A - “face-to-face" classes, Scenario B - “blended classes" and Scenario C - total lockdown.

Initially it was thought the new term would start under Scenario A, but the recent increase in coronavirus outbreaks has forced the authorities to change to Scenario B.

On Tuesday, Education Minister, Martí March, pointed out the new rules that students must follow at school.

Face masks will be compulsory in classes with pupils aged six and over; there are 560 extra teachers; teaching staff will be tested for seroprevalence and PCR tests will be performed in cases of risk.

In Primary there will be a maximum of 20 students per class; the class ratio will be 15 in Secondary and FP; the Ministry of Health will decide if classes or schools should be closed if an outbreak is detected; a telephone line will be installed in schools to resolve any Covid-19 questions; cleaning measures will be strengthened and catering aid will be increased.

Minister March insists that everything is ready, despite the fact that schools are now forced to plan for a different scenario altogether.

He flatly denied improvisation but said more money would be needed and that he still has 50 million euros from the ‘COVID fund'.

Minister March admitted that finding common ground with the unions was proving difficult.

"I will not deny that we have had some problems and differences of opinion, but we must all be aware of what we are playing with when we return to the classroom,” he said.

Minister March also revealed that families will be required to sign a statement confirming that they will not take their children to class if they have symptoms of Covid-19 and appealed to them to be responsible, saying "entry into the classrooms cannot be delayed any longer".

Opposition

Més accused Minister March of "putting forward populist proposals" reminiscent of the Pilot Plan for German tourism that had to be concluded with a "safe corridor between Spain and Germany,” adding "He is late and is acting like a bad student: he has not done his homework and has copied proposals from other Autonomous Communities.”

Patricia Guasp, from Ciudadanos (Cs) also accused the minister of a lack of foresight in being late in planning the course, asked for clarification on "what kind of face mask" should be worn and whether measures were being taken to solve "the digital divide."

Minister March pointed out that although they had started working with scenario A, "everything is now being adjusted.”

Vox Spokesperson, Jorge Campos said "the Balearic Government is incapable of making decisions and its only interest in education is to use it as a political weapon."

Campos also took advantage of his intervention to refer to the Government as "social communist and separatist" and reproached it for "spending millions of euros to impose Catalan, feminism and the misnamed historical memory.”

Minister March completely ignored those comments in his reply.

Lina Pons, from PI offered collaboration but complained about "the rush to start the course in Scenario B after working towards Scenario A all summer”.

Més per Mallorca Spokesperson, Joan Mas, advocated a "message of unity" and commented on the fact that the State has to contribute more money, saying "We demand it.”

Gloria Santiago from Podemos highlighted the "cuts" from the time of the PP, saying "I blame them and the system,” to which PP’s Riera replied, "but the system is now you.”

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