MADRID – Face-to-face education, bubble groups, mouth caps, and mutual distance. This is what the 2021-2022 school year will look like in Spain. The Spanish Minister of Education announced yesterday the conditions under which students can return to school from September.
Children and young adults will go back to school from September 7, despite the fact that the delta variant is still spreading and not all teenagers have been fully vaccinated yet. Earlier it became clear that the regional authorities intended to adhere to the safety protocol that was approved last spring.
This is what the 2021-2022 school year will look like
The meetings between the autonomous authorities and the Spanish government last week yielded few surprises. The Spanish Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, says that the 2021-2022 school year will look like this:
School boards will do their utmost to provide as much face-to-face education as possible. Whereas, online education will be avoided when it can. This also applies to all classes of higher education.
However, for this goal to be successful, it is imperative that students are vaccinated as soon as possible. Furthermore, the boards consider it responsible to allow physical education to take place when at least 61.7% of 12 to 17-year-olds have been vaccinated once and 17% of this target group has been fully vaccinated. Currently, 63.4% of teens have been vaccinated once and 18.3% have received a full dose. The percentages differ per region, but in principle, this goal is achievable for every region in Spain.
The mutual distance between all those present at school will be slightly reduced from 1.50 meters last school year to 1.20 meters for next year. Although it is only a 30 cm difference, this distance is especially important when setting up the classroom.
All children over the age of 6 are required to wear a face mask at school.
All rooms in the school must be continuously ventilated.
Last year, the so-called bubble groups were set up. Therefore, this will continue for the coming school year. The students will start the school year in a fixed group so there will be as little change and contact between different students as possible.
Almost €1billion for modernisation of education Spain
In July, the Spanish government allocated €989million to education for modernisation and digitization. The autonomous regions will receive the first part of the amount made available in September.
To a large extent, regional authorities can decide for themselves how this money is spent. For example, the money can be used to recruit new teachers or to purchase services or resources that help modernise the education system.