According to the AOb a long-term plan is needed to keep education as open as possible.
According to the AOb a long-term plan is needed to keep education as open as possible.

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AOb insists on safety after lockdown

MBO and higher education are out of the lockdown. “It is good that the entire education system can teach on location again”, responds AOb-chairman Tamar van Gelder. “But it is a very bad thing that ventilation in many locations is still insufficient.”

Universities of applied sciences, universities and MBO will be allowed to teach physically again from next week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday evening. Just like before the lockdown, there is a maximum group size of 75. There is also the urgent advice that students and teaching staff self-test twice a week. What is new is that in MBO and higher education, everyone is asked to wear a mouth mask at all times and everywhere. “So also when you're sitting,” says Rutte.

'Keeping everything closed for longer also harms our health'

“We are taking a well-considered risk, because we have to,” said the new Minister of Health, Ernst Kuipers, during the press conference. “Two out of three young people currently feel lonely. Lockdowns weigh heavily on everyone, keeping everything closed for longer also harms our health.”

Ventilation

De AOb insists that on-site teaching be done as safely as possible. “I can understand that you cannot install a completely new ventilation system in one week,” says Van Gelder. “But we've been dealing with corona for two years now and the problem of poor ventilation dates back to well before that time. Education administrators, municipalities and The Hague continue to point at each other about who should pay what exactly. If ever there was a time to get this right, it's now. Then do that. Just start by installing a CO2 meter in every room – that's a tenner job.” 

Strategy: step-by-step

Education staff now really want to know whether the classrooms are being ventilated enough. Van Gelder: “There are teachers who bring their own CO2 meter to school. If the meter is repeatedly red, then this should not be scheduled locally, as we recommend in our step-by-step plan.” 

"Teaching is difficult enough during corona without ad hoc decisions"

Furthermore, there is a long-term plan It is necessary to keep schools open as much as possible during corona outbreaks, says Van Gelder. A plan with clear criteria and clear steps. “Now it is ad hoc decisions, with educational institutions being told on Friday evening that they are closed on Monday morning. Or open again. Teaching during corona is difficult enough, with classes in quarantine, with teachers in quarantine and with online education. If the entire education system still suddenly opens or closes, the situation becomes almost unworkable. That is not sustainable for the pupils, students and teachers.” 

Read also: 'Bad ventilation at your workplace? You can do this'

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