Closure of schools would be most costly measure, education minister says

NEWS 01.12.202016:44

Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Tuesday that the closure of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic would be the most costly measure for society.

“Although it seems that the closure of schools is the cheapest and easiest measure, in the long term it would be the most costly measure for society in general, which would be hard to compensate for,” Fuchs said during an online meeting with county prefects.

Citing the latest information, he said that 783 schools (57.57%) in Croatia conduct face-to-face classes, 72 schools (5.3%) use a combination of face-to-face and online classes, while 116 schools (9.53%) provide online classes only.

“Online classes, that is a complete lockdown of schools, have been functioning basically from the outset, depending on the situation in individual counties. At the beginning, only a small number of schools conducted online classes while their number now is increasing slightly,” the minister said.

At present, 1,886 pupils are infected with Covid-19 and 11,588 are in self-isolation, while 765 teachers are infected and 628 are in self-isolation.

It has been observed that the number of coronavirus cases among pupils is decreasing. In October, 3.3% of primary school pupils and 6.4% of secondary school students were positive for Covid-19, while in November their numbers fell to 3.0% and 6.0% respectively.

“We are all under heavy pressure. We must endure the pressure from the media, from groups who are opposed to even the slightest measures as well as from those who would close schools for a year,” Fuchs said. “If there were any dangers, I certainly wouldn’t allow my grandchildren to go to school,” he added.

The online meeting was also attended by Health Minister Vili Beros, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and Croatian Public Health Institute Krunoslav Capak.