Argentina prepares for return of face-to-face classes after COVID-19 suspension

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BUENOS AIRES, July 14 (Xinhua) — Argentina is preparing for the return of face-to-face classes in August in nine of the country’s 24 provinces, Education Minister Nicolas Trotta announced on Tuesday.

Trotta said that areas with the appropriate epidemiological conditions would reopen in a phased manner, and that schools would combine face-to-face classes with distance learning.

The official announced during a videoconference that the government will also invest 2.3 billion pesos (around 32.26 million U.S. dollars) in repairing and updating school buildings and infrastructure in accordance with the new health safety protocols.

“A school that cannot guarantee this infrastructure will not open, even if the virus had never spread there,” Trotta said. The minister said that schools must enforce the wearing of masks by children and staff as well as social distancing of at least 1.5 meters in the classroom.

According to the minister, the nine provinces of Catamarca, Formosa, Misiones, Santiago del Estero, Tucuman, Corrientes, San Luis, Santa Fe, and San Juan are slated to reopen schools in August.

“We have all been impacted by the virus. We have to be extremely careful, both in epidemiological and sociological terms. There will be students and teachers who, because they belong to risk groups, will not to be able to go to school in person. We are going to have to strengthen distance education,” Trotta said.

The minister added that the return to classes in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, where over 91 percent of the country’s cases are concentrated, will depend on the evolution of infections. Enditem

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