School year in North Macedonia to start Oct. 1

The government decided at its Wednesday session that the new school year in North Macedonia will start on October 1, and asked the Ministry of Education to amend the academic calendar accordingly.

It also adopted protocols on realization of in-person classes at elementary and high schools in the 2020/2021 school year.

Both protocols entail that classes are held in accordance with coronavirus protective measures, which include: mandatory face masks, frequent hand washing, as well as social distancing, the government said in a press release.

Parents will be obliged to take students’ temperatures every day and those with fevers higher than 37C will be prohibited from attending classes.

No more than 20 pupils will be allowed to study in one classroom, whilst maintaining physical distance of 1.5 meters between students and teachers.

Moreover, the protocol on elementary schools entails no mixing of students from different classes.

The protocol on high schools requires they implement a one-way system of movement of students in order to limit the number of people present in the same area at the same time.

Protocols also demand schools place hand sanitizers at their entrances, as well as in classrooms.

Employees will be obliged to sanitize their shoes, hands, etc, upon entering the school building.

The government also decided on Wednesday to establish a working group made up of representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“This working group will monitor the situation and give opinions on schools’ level of readiness to hold classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic in areas where in-person classes are possible, as an exception from online classes mandatory for all elementary and high school students, except those up to third grade,” read the government’s press release.