26 January: Oslo kindergartens and schools move to green level
Press release: As of Monday, 31 January all kindergartens and schools in Oslo can adjust their plans to the green alert level of the traffic light model.
“We are now in a new phase of the pandemic. Children and young people need to come together for play and learning. It’s time to open things up, while still ensuring a safe and appropriate structure,” says Sunniva Holmås Eidsvoll, Councillor for Education and Child Services (SV).
Norwegian authorities state that there are fewer worries about the infection situation and the City of Oslo has therefore loosened its restrictions. This is especially important for children and young people who have experienced considerable restrictions during a large part of their lives.
“We believe that our measures should be proportionate,” says Holmås Eidsvoll. Upper secondary schools in Oslo switched to a green level last week and the remaining schools and kindergartens will now follow suit.
There is still a high rate of sick leave absence among staff at many of our schools and kindergartens. Changes in the quarantine rules, in effect from today, are expected to steer operations in schools and kindergartens in a positive direction.
“Access to regular self-testing kits among children and staff members should not depend on family finances. Norwegian authorities must ensure that these are distributed free of charge,” says the Councillor for Education and Child Services. Kindergarten and school employees have been prioritised in the distribution of self-tests.
There may still be situations where schools and kindergartens lack sufficient staff to responsibly maintain ordinary operations. Many staff members are in quarantine due to infection and there is still a considerable shortage of temporary staff.
“I completely understand that the situation is difficult for school and kindergarten staff and, in certain districts, parents must be prepared for somewhat flexible practices,” says Holmås Eidsvoll.
“I have always maintained that Oslo will open up as soon as the situation allows. It is crucial for children and young people, who have paid an enormous price during the pandemic, to get back to a normal everyday life,” says Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo (AP).
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