Doria anticipates teacher vaccination and expands classroom teaching – 06/09/2021 – Laura Mattos

Governor João Doria (PSDB) will announce at today’s press conference, starting at 12:45 pm, changes in rules that will provide an increase in the presence of students in schools. Schools will be able to receive students in person according to their capacity and not the number of students enrolled, as it is currently. In addition, the presence between desks in classrooms, which until now has to be 1.5 m, will be reduced to 1 m, according to the recommendation of the World Health Organization.

In an event this morning, the governor announced that the vaccination of teachers and other education professionals against Covid-19 between 18 and 46 years, scheduled for July, will be brought forward and will begin this Friday, June 11th. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Memorial da América Latina for the launch of the Mega Escola program, which provides 100MB internet for all state schools by 2022.

The forecast is that 363,000 professionals are vaccinated starting this week. This Wednesday (9), began the vaccination of 80,000 education professionals between 45 and 46 years old — including private, state, municipal and federal networks. So far, 400 thousand people in the sector, over 47 years old, have already been immunized.

Regarding the change in classroom teaching, the objective is that, considering the long duration of the pandemic, it is possible to make the rules more flexible so that each school can receive more students, complying with the protocols. Currently, 35% of the number of students enrolled is allowed. This will be changed to 35% of occupancy, which is almost always greater than the number of enrollments. In addition, the expansion of this percentage is being discussed, which may be decided at the meeting with the Contingency Center that precedes the press conference. Anyway, reducing the distance between the desks will facilitate the presence of a greater number of students.

The Department of Education is fighting for the percentage to be higher than in other sectors, and not lower than it is today — restaurants and shopping malls, for example, can now receive 40% of their capacity. Despite the resistance on the part of the Contingency Center, Doria tends to agree with the expansion and reinforcement of the image that education is a priority in her government. He has invested in this discourse since he decreed, in January, education as an essential activity in the pandemic. Last year, Doria was heavily criticized for allowing the opening of almost all activities, including bars, and keeping schools closed.

Capacity depends on the size of the school building and even the pedagogical project. Both can be changed to adapt to the context of the pandemic. It is also necessary to define when the rules can be applied, whether as early as next week or only when the state of São Paulo moves into a new phase in the resumption.

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