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Friday, December 3, 2021

The Netherlands is keen to keep its schools open, even as the number of infections among young people is on the rise.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus in Dutch schools has prompted some experts to call for an extension of the Christmas break this winter. In an article published Thursday, immunologist Ger Rikers told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper: “Children are small factories of viruses that infect each other just like adults.”

The government has imposed other restrictions to try to quell the widening outbreak, and has resisted calls to close schools. Lawmakers recently reinstated a ban on the use of masks in some public spaces and introduced a three-week partial lockdown that includes earlier closing hours for restaurants, bars and shops.

In the past week ending Tuesday, the Netherlands reported a record number of cases, with positive tests up 44 percent. The country is struggling to meet its benchmarks amid growing demand.

According to government figures, the largest increase in the number of new infections was among children aged 4 to 12 years. Education Minister Arie Slob admitted that the situation “requires a lot of teachers and parents.”

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“I understand that there are concerns,” Mr Slob tweeted.“But I am convinced that schools are being opened responsibly.” He said that a group of experts advising the government agreed.

“Most teachers are vaccinated and students are generally not very ill,” added Mr Slob.

The quality of education suffered during the pandemic, according to the union of school leaders in the Netherlands. And while it’s unclear exactly how many classes are being sent home, nearly 9,000 workers in elementary schools and out-of-school centers tested positive for the virus last week, according to the union’s website.

The government hopes the schools will remain open to reduce the inconvenience that students have suffered. A government report released last month found that students of all ages are lagging behind and many are mentally affected.

“It is very important that schools remain open,” wrote Mr Slob.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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