Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021 (as in April 2021)
As of March 2nd, 2021, primary school students can return to contact education:
In 45 municipalities where the coronavirus cases, in the last 14 days, are less than 200 per 100k of population. Classroom instruction requires compliance with all requirements set by the operations manager.
Maintaining a safe distance, managing student flows to minimize mixing, disinfecting, and ventilating the premises, washing children 's hands often with liquid soap, and so on. It is possible to choose a mixed method. In case of infections within the classroom, the class returns to distance learning and all students and teachers need to be tested.
In those municipalities where the cases are higher, primary school pupils are educated remotely or in educational institutions selected by these municipalities. Schools that have previously opted for the safe return model in 26 municipalities and are committed to periodically testing the students and their staff are encouraged to continue working in the same way. The Minister notes that these schools, of which there are more than 60, will have a greater opportunity to control the situation, remain safe and avoid closure. As from the same date, contact consultations for groups of up to 5 students are also allowed.
During consultations in schools, it is necessary to follow the requirements set by the operations manager:
to keep a safe distance, to wear masks, to disinfect hands and surfaces, etc. This applies to all municipalities, regardless of the epidemiological state. Approx 5-10 per cent of pupils, who need help with distance learning and are unable to learn in distance from home, can return to schools and study in distance form, with support from teaching staff and/or volunteers, as well have some meals.
Vaccination of teachers and graduates students are one the top priority of the country.
From 2 of May, graduates can return to mix learning, they will have time to prepare for exams (from the middle of June). Others students who return to schools are on discussing level.
Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021
The Ministry has published well in advance health and safety instructions for the different educational levels highlighting the following:
Manage student flows as much as possible to reduce student contacts.
Observe social distancing: keep distance of 2m in closed spaces, 1m in open spaces.
If it is not possible to keep such distances, school staff and parents should wear face masks.
Limit the sharing of teaching aids.
Ventilate, clean the premises, disinfect surfaces, wash and disinfect hands.
What sets the new school year apart from those in the past is that, regardless of the situation of the pandemic, pupils will be obligated to spend a whole day per week studying remotely. In some cases, they will be asked to work on so-called long-term assignments requiring elaborate preparation and focus.
To comply with the Education Ministry recommendations on COVID-19 handling, all Lithuanian general education schools were tasked to draft their pupils’ virtual traffic maps before the inception of the new school year. They are believed to help school heads monitor pupil movements, congestions, dispersion etc.
Among the strongly highlighted recommendations is organising classes in open air, weather permitting, of course. Schools have the right to partially organize blended learning (up to 30-50% of learning is taking place from distance). Quite many schools are doing so for older students.
When a COVID case is recorded, the class or school is temporarily transferred to the distance learning mode by decision of the operational management committee.
Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2019-2020
Distance learning has been officially launched since 30 March 2020. The Ministry is offering the digital education platform EDUCA class which includes digital textbooks for students, teachers’ books and a large selection of tasks for different subjects. Access to the platform is given to teachers, pupils but also parents who are invited to support and monitor pupils’ progress. Connectivity issues that have been reported due to the heavy use of the platform, are now being addressed.
In addition, Teacher TV is offering loads of content to support the different subjects while teachers of different principles are invited to participate in online training in order to explore in detail the possibilities for their respective subjects.