Madrid Desk, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- School students in European nations returned to class for the first time in months on Tuesday as education systems got up and running again with new health and safety protocols.
Around 12 million pupils went back to school with an air of excitement despite the strange new health precautions, such as obligatory masks.
Teachers and parents also expressed their relief that the academic year could get underway with some semblance of normality after months of distance learning.
“I wouldn’t say it was normal but, well, the return to school is always special. My daughter needs to go back, it’s been a long time,” Benjamin Mironer, whose daughter is 11, told Efe outside a high school in Paris.
The scenes at the school doors were somewhat familiar, with groups of children carrying backpacks but their entrance into the building was staggered to avoid crowding.
All pupils over the age of 11 and teachers must wear a face mask in the school building, as is the case in all workspaces in France.
France’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told news channel BFMTV that all schools across the country were reopening.
“There is no exception,” he said. “In the coming days, we may have to take decisions to close a classroom or a school but for this return to school it’s not the case.”
He said that any confinement to contain an outbreak in a school would be “partial”.