France to fully reopen schools after scrapping 4m sq distance rule


The reopen of France’s schools has been accelerated on the back of continued positive news on coronavirus infection levels.

While most schools in France are now open, limits on class sizes mean that many pupils are only attending part time, while other parents have opted to keep their children at home.

However, this is set to change, after president Emmanuel Macron is his address to the nation on Sunday night declared: “As of Monday, in France and overseas French territories, nurseries, schools and secondary schools will prepare to welcome all students.”

“From June 22nd,” the president continued, “attendance will be compulsory.”

On Monday the education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer added that the rule requiring 4 m sq of space per pupils – which had dramatically limited class sizes – will be scrapped. US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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South Korean schools are back in session after 5-month break


After an unprecedented five-month break, South Korean students are returning to their classrooms as government health officials declared that the country may have avoided a “second wave” of infections.

The schools are reopening in stages, with high school seniors returning first on Wednesday and middle and elementary students slated to go back to school in the following weeks. The third-year high school students are leading the return as they now only have half a year before their annual university entrance exams in early December, education officials said.

South Korea has been able to sharply slow coronavirus infections by launching a massive testing and contact tracing campaign. Thirteen new cases were reported Tuesday, raising the total to 11,078.

Depending on the school district, schools will start on different days and students will alternate between attending classes and online instructions at home. Class times and lunch hours are also being staggered. No extracurricular activities will be allowed.

Education officials said that a school would be shuttered immediately if an infection is confirmed among the school’s students, faculty and staff. US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Hong Kong to relax quarantine rules after three days with no new Covid-19 cases


Hong Kong will ease quarantine restrictions on travellers from mainland China, providing exemptions for school pupils crossing the border daily and any arrivals from the north deemed economically important, the city’s health chief says.

“Regarding the epidemic situation in China, it is more or less under control. Of course, they have some new cases every day – not a big number – but most are imported,” she said.

“In the context of [preparing] society for getting back to normal, students, especially cross border-students, are one category we recommended the Education Bureau needed to look into. If there is a resumption of schools one day, then what are we going to do with these cross-border students, and what are the measures that need to be taken into consideration?”

Coronavirus ‘currently eliminated’ in New Zealand


New Zealand says it has stopped community transmission of Covid-19, effectively eliminating the virus.

With new cases in single figures for several days – one on Sunday – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated.

But officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases.

The news comes hours before New Zealand is set to move out of its toughest level of social restrictions.

From Tuesday, some non-essential business, healthcare and education activity will be able to resume.

Lockdown eased: Netherlands and France plan to re-open primary schools


Several European countries are to relax coronavirus restrictions related to children, with Holland and France announcing that primary schools will reopen next month and Spain setting out how under-14s will be allowed out of the home from next week.

French children would return to school in staggered year groups, the education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer said, with no more than 15 pupils allowed in each class.

Primary pupils aged from five to 11 would be the first to go back on 12 May, one day after the end of a strict nationwide lockdown. The following week older children in selected years at secondary schools and lycée would return. All classes would be back by 25 May.

Shanghai Set to Reopen Schools After Coronavirus Closures


Local schools in Shanghai that have been closed in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus will reopen starting April 27, the director of the city’s education commission said on Thursday.

Lu Jing said classes for the final years of both junior and senior high schools would be permitted to resume on April 27.

COVID-19 silver lining: experts predict innovation in medicine, education, remote work


Despite years of discussions between politicians and doctors, the Quebec government couldn’t find a way to pay its general practitioners for phone and video consultations with patients.

Dr. Louis Godin, president of Quebec’s federation of general practitioners, said the pandemic has done what years of talk failed to accomplish.

“Often there are positive things that happen during crises,” he said in a recent interview. “It allows us, sometimes, to develop things much faster than we would have otherwise done.”

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu told a Senate committee last week that the “uptick” in virtual care in Quebec and across Canada — which includes screening for COVID-19 — will leave “an amazing legacy in terms of our ability to access physicians in the 21st century.”

“If there’s any silver lining to this crisis whatsoever,” she continued, “it’s the rapidity at which I see provinces and territories moving toward innovation and the delivery of health care.”