MPs adopt amendments to laws on elementary and secondary education

Parliament adopted late on Monday the amendments to the laws on elementary and secondary education in an expedited procedure.

Elaborating the bills last week, Minister of Education and Science Mila Carovska said the amendments were necessary to make sure the educational process throughout the school year was taking place in a safe manner uninterrupted.

Under the laws, extraordinary circumstances include state of crisis, epidemic or pandemic declared, fires, floods and other major natural disasters. The government’s decision will cover the whole country or only parts of North Macedonia.

Furthermore, amid extraordinary circumstances, the school year could contain less than 180 days, but no less than 100. The government will be in charge of deciding on it.

The laws also envisage that the schools amid extraordinary circumstances should organize out-of-school activities for the students to benefit their personal, social and emotional growth.

In the midst of extraordinary circumstances, when online instruction is introduced, schools can organize in-person instruction provided that they meet the conditions outlined by health authorities and depending on the epidemiological situation in the municipality where the school is located, the number of pupils in a classroom and overall conditions in the school, including premises and hygiene maintenance.

It is regulated under the law amendments that high schools should organize blended learning.

Given the circumstances, the government will be in charge of deciding on the duration of classes and the maximum number of students in a class in elementary and high schools.