The 415 units of the municipal education network in Curitiba (185 schools and 230 Municipal Child Education Centers) reopened last Monday (2) to receive children and students of hybrid education (classroom + video classes). Faced with the tension that the pandemic still brings to the school community, teachers report the lack of conditions in schools to guarantee sanitary safety and denounce the lack of dialogue on the part of the municipal administration.
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The return to in-person classes takes place a week after the Paraná State Health Department confirmed community transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. In addition, most of the teachers who will be in schools have not yet received the second dose of vaccines. In addition to the insecurity, education professionals report precarious conditions at the schools, as well as the methodology just in time to return.
For the teacher and school director Claudia Simoni da Silva Ativo Costa, the city could have waited for education professionals to receive the second dose of the vaccine. “Most will receive the second dose in mid-September. We could return, without prejudice, in October. Although the sponsor says that in Curitiba the cases are decreasing, we have cases of infected people in schools.” Claudia emphasizes that there is no health security to receive all students. “We are a category that works with many people at the same time. We have classes of 35 students in rooms measuring 30 square meters”, he says.
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Another teacher, who declined to be identified, also reports that schools are not prepared. “The Department of Education speaks of something ideal, but that is not the reality of schools. Most of them do not have adequate ventilation, there is a problem of lack of water due to rationing. In other words, after more than a year of pandemic, the structures remain the same.”
The Union of Municipal Magisterium Servants (Sismmac) had already denounced the lack of structure in June. “At CMEI José Carlos Pisani, in Tatuquara, there was an interruption in the water supply in the entire neighborhood, which also affected the CMEI. So, the day back to school started with no water to follow the hygiene protocol. Not even the personal protective equipment (PPE) promised by the management, such as a mask and faceshield, were handed over to CMEI workers,” the union said in a statement.
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Professor Luciana Kopsch, director of Sismmac, says that there was a face-to-face meeting with the Municipal Department of Education on June 23rd. “We made it clear that, for us and the category, the return should take place in a month, because of the second dose of the vaccine, mainly due to the confirmation of the new variant of the virus.” Luciana highlighted that the conditions of municipal schools are not yet safe. “These are very suitable spaces for contamination. In addition, we have already tested the PPE distributed by the city hall and they do not meet the health safety standards published by health agencies. We also charged for the N95 and PFF2 masks, but we were told they were not necessary,” he says.
Rules change one day before return
Another aggravating factor, according to teacher Diana Abreu, is the lack of organization and dialogue in the management of the Municipal Department of Education, which changed the schedule of classroom classes one day before the restart. “On July 17, the secretariat communicated to all teaching teams that we would have a hybrid model on return in August, and students would go one week in person. For teachers, there would be staggering, not being necessary for everyone in the school at the same time. Pedagogical teams and directors prepare for this way and communicate students and parents. However, on Friday 30th, we received a statement that the rules had changed, changing it to two in-person weeks and inviting all teachers to be at the school,” he explained.
What does the Secretariat say
In note to the Brazil de Facto Paraná, the press office of the Municipal Department of Education states that “the orientation is to keep the windows open, to ensure the ventilation of the environments. In relation to PPE, the Municipal Department of Education has already invested around R$ 2 million in the purchase of items for the prevention of the new coronavirus and cleaning products for the entire municipal education network. The change in scheduling was only announced on Friday because, as announced since the beginning of the month, until the 30th the units were being monitored .”
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos and Lia Bianchini