Students in Belgium Return to School After 2-Month COVID Break
By VOA News May 18, 2020
After some schools went through a "dry run" on Friday, more of Belgium's schools opened Monday as the nation took its "next step" in easing its COVID-18 restrictions.
Classes resumed with a limited number of pupils per school to make sure social distancing was fully respected. Temperatures were taken as students entered schools and face masks were worn by teachers and students.
In many cases, though, distance learning on laptops remained the order of the day, as many schools had only a fraction of their enrollment attending.
Where students were present, classes were rearranged to make sure each child has four square meters and each teacher eight square meters of space available.
Brussels education alderwoman Faouzia Hariche told the Associated Press it was important to resume classes for the children's social and psychological wellbeing.
Children will go to school only twice per week until the end of June.
Belgium was particularly hard hit by the coronavirus. Johns Hopkins University reports the nation had a death rate of 78 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the world.
But the rate of new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths have steadily fallen since early last month, prompting officials to begin easing restrictions.
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