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COVID-19: pandemic school year to end on Friday

During the 2020/2021 school year, in which due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students of 4th-8th grades and those from secondary schools were studying remotely for almost seven months. Teachers’ vaccination was carried out and the two educational ministries were combined.

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In October the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education merged and in their place, a new – Ministry of Education and Science was established.

In the “red zones”, stationary education was completely limited, and remote teaching was introduced in its place. In the “yellow zones”, hybrid teaching was introduced. Teaching in the hybrid system was organised so that at least 50 percent of students had stationary classes.

From October 26 to November 8, remote learning was introduced in the 4th-8th grades of primary schools and in secondary schools. It has been prolonged, repeatedly returning to learning in full-time mode only on May 31.

From October to January there were limitations on the movement of children and teens up to 16 years from Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm without adult supervision.

In November, remote learning was introduced in grades 1-3 of primary schools. However, after school care was still organised for students.

Hybrid learning was returned in Spring in various steps in various areas depending on the local epidemic situation. In May all students of the 1-3 classes around the country returned to stationary learning.

The final exams (matura) in May were carried out in special conditions. Examination requirements are a narrowed requirement catalogue (20-30 percent, depending on the subject). In addition, there were no mandatory oral examinations. There was also no obligation to take an exam at the extended level.

In November, the Minister of Education and Science also announced and implemented a teacher’s support program by co-financing up to PLN 500 (EUR 110.57) purchases by them for remote learning equipment.

From February 8, teachers who wanted to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could report to the directors of their facilities. Teachers’ vaccination began on February 12. In total, 590 000 teachers registered for vaccination. They were the first group in Poland to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca products.

In the spring, the head of the ministry announced four student support programs after returning to stationary education: regarding the reconstruction of physical condition, psychological and pedagogical assistance, the organisation of supporting classes and student sight testing.

In May, the minister addressed proposals for changes regarding the remuneration and working time of teachers. However, the proposal does not include kindergarten teachers. The Ministry counted that all these changes caused an increase in basic salary in the amount (compared to current rates): trainee teacher – PLN 551 gross (EUR 122), contract – PLN 466 (EUR 103), appointed – PLN 455 (EUR 100.59), certified – PLN 454 (EUR 100.40).

In June, the Ministry announced social consultations for obligatory school readings.

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