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Gov’t Considers Reintroducing Distance Learning In Case of Second Wave of Pandemic

Péter Cseresnyés 2020.07.15.

After the surge of coronavirus cases in several European countries and experts expecting a possible second wave of the virus by the fall, the responsible ministry is considering the possibility of reintroducing a digital work schedule.

Hopefully, the new school year can begin traditionally, with a normal schedule, but preparations must also be made for schools to switch to digital education again due to the coronavirus epidemic,  the state secretary for public education said in an interview on Monday.

According to Zoltán Maruzsa, the transition to a digital work schedule can hopefully be avoided in the autumn, and such a decision will only be made where it is necessary from an epidemiological standpoint.

The Ministry of Human Resources gave a similar answer to leftist daily Népszava, confirming that in case the epidemic situation requires any further action, it will be addressed at an institutional, local, or regional level.

Distance Learning Concludes with Extra Efforts by Families and Gained Digital Experience

The Ministry says the reason it is important not to introduce nationwide remote learning is so that those affected get an equal opportunity to participate in education, and to relieve parents of the burden of providing childcare.

When asked what will happen to school security guards debuting in September in the case of distance learning, they said that their services will definitely be needed due to childcare needs.

The ministry also emphasizes that some of the experiences of the previously introduced digital work schedule have already been implemented. For example, in the amendment of the National Public Education Act, the institutions have been given the opportunity, if the appropriate infrastructural conditions are fully available, in certain cases, to provide education in a digital form.

Commenting on the subject to the paper, Tamás Totyik, vice-president of the Teachers’ Union, finds the idea of not ordering schools to universally switch to a remote work schedule acceptable. He also points out that many children- especially those living in disadvantaged regions- could not partake in the formerly ordered digital education.

Featured photo by Péter Komka/MTI