Almost all Italy’s pupils finally back in school

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(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 1 – Pupils, including high-school
students, in almost all of Italy’s regions were finally able to
return to class on Monday.
    Italy’s high schools had been meant to reopen after the
Christmas holidays, after distance learning was used in the last
part of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
    But only a handful of regions actually reopened their high
schools as scheduled on January 11, due to concerns about
fuelling COVID contagion, with the other regions imposing delays
of varying lengths.
    On Monday around eight million pupils were in school after
Sardinia, Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata, Veneto, Campania and
Friuli Venezia Giulia reopened their high schools.
    That eight million includes around 2.5 million high-school
students, who are physically attending class for 50-75% of their
timetables, with the rest being done via distance learning.
    High-school pupils in Sicily, however, will not go back to class
for another week.
    Education Minister Lucia Azzolina, who pressed hard for the
nation’s schools to reopen at all levels, said fears that having
older pupils back in class would cause an upswing in contagion
have proven unfounded.
    “The high-school kids are completing their return to school,”
Azzolina said.
    “The lower levels of the school system stayed open and around
five million male and female students never had to stay away
from their classrooms.
    “High schools, on the other hand, resumed classed with students
physically present gradually.
    “Contagion remained stable in the areas that opened first.
    “This is something that comforts us, but we must keep our level
of attention very, very high”. (ANSA).


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