Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited a primary school in the Athens district of Kallithea on Monday, the first day of reopening for primary schools, kindergartens and day-care centres since they were closed in March.
He was accompanied by Education Minister Niki Kerameus and Deputy Education Minister Sofia Zacharaki.
Speaking to teachers, he said that parents should feel safe and send their children to school, adding that he decided to reopen schools after being reassured that there was no danger.
Regarding distance education, Mitsotakis stressed that it was very important and the use of technology opens a window into the future. He added that most of the work will always be done in the classroom, however, technology is advancing and gives us many opportunities and possibilities to access knowledge.
"I am happy, talking to all the children I had the opportunity to, not only today, all these days. I think they understand what they have to do. We all became newcomers in our own way and we learned again, from the beginning, things that of course you taught them anyway...And I think the kids were missing their friends. Rather than playing in the playgrounds or on the streets without any classroom or supervision, it will certainly be safer in their school."
Mitsotakis said that he had supported the reopening of primary schools because, otherwise, the children would have stayed away from school for six months, from March till September, adding: "I believe that was a source of concern for us all."
"However, I would also like to say a big thank you, in general I say this, at every opportunity, to all the executives of education, because it was not simple what happened and especially the effort to keep the children in contact with the school through technology was a big surprise for all of us. Obviously, more difficult as children are younger," the PM concluded.
Σήμερα επέστρεψαν στα θρανία και τα μικρότερα παιδιά. Μιλώντας μαζί τους διαπίστωσα ότι ξέρουν ήδη πώς να προστατεύονται, και οι σωστές αυτές συμπεριφορές θα ενισχυθούν σε ένα οργανωμένο περιβάλλον με επίβλεψη όπως είναι το σχολείο. https://primeminister.gr/2020/06/01/24078
Posted by Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday, 1 June 2020
Education Minister Niki Kerameus also spoke about the reopening of primary schools, kindergartens and day-care centres on Praktoreio FM, where she claimed that "the children are safer in school where they can follow the rules and comply with the protection measures than in the town squares," noting that there is no better place than schools for the children to "learn to live with this new reality."
"The long absence from school has significant repercussions on the children's learning and social development, as well as their psycho-emotional development," Kerameus added.