Bulgaria eases rules for return to in-person school classes

From December 15, in-person classes will be allowed at schools in Bulgaria if there is consent for 30 per cent of pupils to be tested for Covid-19, or have a green certificate – a reduction from the current 50 per cent.

The green certificate should be for vaccination, having undergone Covid-19, having antibodies or a negative test result, the Education Ministry said on December 9.

The ministry said that the change had been agreed to a meeting between itself and education system trade unions and employers.

It said that up to now, if 50 per cent of pupils did not have consent for testing or a green certificate, the class remained on distance learning, “which harmed those who wanted to study in person”.

“By reducing the required rate, more children willing to comply with health authorities will return to school, who are now at home because of the refusal of their classmates or their parents to testing for Covid-19 once a week,” the Education Ministry said.

In the case of pupils whose parents do not consent to their being tested, the pupils will continue to undergo distance learning, the ministry said.

“According to the guidelines for training in an emergency epidemic, schools will provide these children and young people with synchronous or asynchronous education, depending on their capabilities,” the statement said.

It said that it continuously accepted declarations of consent for testing.

The ministry said that currently, there are tests for all pupils in municipalities where the Covid-19 morbidity rate was more than 250 per 100 000 pupils.

In municipalities with morbidity rates lower than that, schools are conducting in-person learning, without testing for Covid-19.

Caretaker Education Minister Nikolai Denkov said that there would be no further changes to the system before Christmas.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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