Spanish universities will revert to 100% in-person teaching next week

Spanish universities and schools will resume in-person lessons from Monday, January 10, after Spain’s central government and the country’s regional education officials reached an agreement to resume in-person teaching.

The meeting on continuing to face-to-face classes took place last week, Tuesday, January 4, with officials from 17 regions in Spain voting to return to face-to-face classes, reports.

After the meeting, Health Minister Carolina Darias said it had not been easy to reach an agreement, but added that they had succeeded in doing so.

At a press conference, the minister said masks will still be required in universities and schools while all institutions should ensure there will be adequate ventilation.

“The educational model of face-to-face teaching has been successful and is the model of the Spanish government, because classrooms are safe spaces” Darias was quoted by the Spanish daily El Pais.

As many students are already vaccinated against COVID-19, starting next week, students at universities and high schools across the country will not pursue distance learning courses even if there are positive cases among the students.

El Pais reports that in Madrid there have been no restrictions during the holiday season; However, the city recently mentioned online education due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. This has prompted parents and teacher unions to call for the resumption of in-person teaching, some of which have even warned of protests if schools do not open.

El Pais further reports that during the conference the new Universities Minister Joan Subirats said there was a need to avoid “Feeling of constant change” concerning the health situation and to create a sense of security and protection.

“I’m aware of it because this last semester I’ve seen it myself. Universities are ready to face this problem ”, Subirats said.

According to data, on Tuesday the infection rate in Spain reached 2,433 cases per 100,000 people, ten times higher than in early December.

Unlike Spanish universities, some of the most renowned universities in the world are retiring again including Yale University, Duke University, University of Miami for the first two weeks of the semester due to the spread of the variant Omicron, but not Harvard University. The latter recently announced that it is planning a semester in person despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among its members and across the United States.

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