Bulgaria’s Education Ministry: From March 29, distance learning only with written permission

School pupils who are still on distance learning because they refuse to be tested once a week for Covid-19 must return to class on March 29, Bulgaria’s Education Ministry said.

The ministry cited the Health Ministry’s order that from March 29, Covid-19 testing in schools ends.

Other measures against the spread of Covid-19 in schools will remain in force, including wearing protective masks in corridors and in common areas for first to fourth grade pupils, as well as everywhere for older pupils and teachers, physical distancing, disinfection and ventilation.

From the abolition of testing until the end of the epidemic declaration, online learning will only be possible for pupils who have written permission. 

The Education Ministry cited Bulgaria’s Preschool and School Education Act, which gives parents the right to shift their children to online learning because of health or other reasons, certified by a document.

For up to 30 days of online learning, permission may be given by the head of the school, and for a longer period, the permission of the head of the regional department of education is required.

The Education Ministry’s March 23 statement said that this week there are 626 260 pupils in class, 1000 more than last week.

Forty-one per cent were not undergoing Covid-19 testing because the municipality is below the threshold making it mandatory, or because they have presented a green certificate.

The ministry said that for close to a month, there had been a downward trend in pupils testing positive for Covid-19.

This week, 417 pupils had tested positive, close to 150 less than last week.

Seventy-six teachers tested positive this week, compared with 44 last week.

Twenty-three non-teaching staff tested positive this week. Last week, the figure was 26.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

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