The Federal Council of Education (CFE) approved this Thursday a proposal to return to “full presence” in schools as of September 1, in a scheme with protocols that includes a distance of 0.90 centimeters in the classrooms, the mandatory use of chinstraps, cross ventilation and other care measures.

This was reported by the Minister of Education, Nicolás Trotta, after the meeting of the body in which the changes in the protocol for attending classes at the primary and secondary levels throughout the country were analyzed and validated.

The proposal, which was approved by the majority of the CFE, must “be applied with the character of law” in the 24 jurisdictions of the country, including Mendoza and the city of Buenos Aires, which did not accompany the vote.

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“We have had a meeting in which we have approved by majority, with the accompaniment of 22 of the 24 jurisdictions, the protocols that allow intensifying presence in the educational system,” Trotta said after the CFE meeting at the Sarmiento Palace.

“The pandemic has not been overcome but we can take this step,” he declared, warning that “improvements” can be observed in health matters.

The head of the educational portfolio detailed the three main points of the return to face-to-face to the classrooms from next September 1, such as guaranteeing “90 centimeters of distance” that, “exceptionally, it can be reduced to a minimum of half a meter.”

This provision should be “compensated” with “testing” and the “use of carbon dioxide meters”, in addition to cross ventilation.

Trotta also confirmed that the national State “will provide funding” to the different jurisdictions with “carbon dioxide meters, test kits and chinstraps.”, and that in some cases the use of double masks or triple protection will be implemented.

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Trotta pointed out that “each of the jurisdictions will be able to determine the progressiveness” of the measures approved by the CFE and explained that the decision taken by the majority of the body’s assembly must “be applied as law” in the 24 jurisdictions despite the fact that the province of Mendoza and the City of Buenos Aires did not support the decision.

“We ask Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and Rodolfo Suarez to comply with the norm”, Trotta said in reference to the governors of the City of Buenos Aires and Mendoza, respectively, noting that these are measures that will “take care of the entire educational community.”

These guidelines for the return to full presence had been defined last Wednesday by the educational portfolio and its advisers.

The changes that were proposed to the CFE respond to the improvement of the epidemiological indicators, together with the progress in the vaccination process and the increase in temperatures in the Argentine territory.

This context enabled the possibility of new instances that advance and “strengthen the presence in the classrooms,” the Ministry of Education had reported.

The defined proposal contemplates three possible scenarios and refers to minimum conditions, on which each jurisdiction may add other measures that it deems appropriate:

Optimal condition: In the event that schools can ensure full presence by maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 meters between students, while continuing to ventilate, ensure the use of masks and hand hygiene.

Admissible condition: In the event that it is not possible to ensure the distance of 1.5 meters for full attendance, a physical distance of 0.90 meters will be taken between students in the classrooms, maintaining the requirement of 2 meters in common spaces and with the teaching body.

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Exceptions: Only in the event that it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of 0.90 meters between students, it will be possible to maintain a shorter distance; and the exceptions may be applied in contexts of low epidemiological risk and with adequate vaccination coverage.

The CFE brings together all the Ministers of Education from all the provinces and the City of Buenos Aires.

The proposal of the Ministry of Education came after the different meetings with the Argentine Society of Pediatrics, Unicef ​​and the World Health Organization, among others.

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