The covid-19 barometer for education was given the green light on Monday. Catholic Education Flanders and Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA) report this after the education consultation between Weyts, the education partners and the experts. The barometer should provide more predictability in the field of corona measures.
The barometer works with four colour codes: green, yellow, orange and red. “Each colour is linked to a basic package of measures regarding, for example, ventilation and distance,” says Minister Weyts. “These measures form the basis for switching to a different colour code, but are not set in stone. Depending on the situation or changing scientific insights, they can be adjusted or supplemented with additional measures. The current situation corresponds to code red.”
Weyts emphasizes that the corona barometer “gives more guidance to the schools”, but is “also not a straitjacket”.
Catholic Education Flanders says that it is the intention that the rules for education are not stricter than those for society at large. “With this barometer, supported by regular consultation with the educational partners, we want to offer our schools more solid ground,” says Lieven Boeve, director-general of Catholic Education Flanders.
The COV, the largest union in primary education, is also pleased that the barometer is available. “The measures are not new, but they are now summarized in the barometer and provide a clear overview,” said Marianne Coopman, general secretary at COV. The education union does point out that there is still uncertainty about the degree of the pandemic. In addition, it is also important that the schools are given enough time to switch when the barometer switches to a different color, it sounds.
In 2020, education was the first sector to have a corona barometer with different color codes. That barometer was very extensive and detailed, so that it had to be frequently adjusted and eventually fell into disuse. The new barometer has been simplified and slimmed down. The consultation of the educational partners determines the color code of the barometer, based on, among other things, the pandemic situation in the hospitals and the decisions of the Consultation Committee.
The logic that is used in society at large is extended as much as possible in education. The corona barometer for education does have a green colour code, which the corona barometer for society at large does not have. That green colour refers to a return to normality, in which education still takes some things from the corona crisis. This mainly concerns ventilation and ventilation.