“We are very concerned about the situation in Polish schools and we believe that the time has come to implement the fallback option,” doctors and healthcare providers of the Alliance of Healthcare Employers (PPOZ) appealed in a letter to the Prime Minister. They propose that the older classes switch to distance education.
PPOZ point out that the sanitary services announce further cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections every day among teachers and students. It emphasizes that when several or a dozen or so cases of infection in a given school are found, closing one or two classes does not provide any protection against further infections.
"If young people move between classes, educators spend their time in the staff room, and teach in several departments, the risk of spreading the infection is enormous. As we know, children who undergo the infection asymptomatically are the greatest carriers and pose a serious threat not only to household members" , explained the president of PPOZ, Bożena Janicka.
PPOZ recommends that older students switch to distance education, and that younger classes should be distributed in the buildings in a way that minimises their contact with each other. PPOZ also proposes the introduction of different hours for classes. "This is a difficult topic for all of us, but we believe that it is about time the Ministry of National Education not only considered, but also implemented a contingency plan, because the health of Poles is the highest value", emphasized the PPOZ doctors.
The PPOZ appeal addressed to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was also sent to the Minister of Health, the Patients Ombudsman, the president of the National Health Fund and the president of the Supreme Medical Council.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Dariusz Piontkowski stated that he was against the top-down closure of all schools in Poland, and the system in which the sanitary service must agree to any change from physical classroom working had proved to be successful.
According to data from the Ministry of National Education from Wednesday, 1037 educational institutions are working in a mixed mode, and 375 in a remote mode. This combined total represents almost 3 percent of all educational institutions.