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By KELIN DILLON

On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 12, the head of Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) Delfina Gómez announced the nation’s 10.step plan for the return to in-person classes, which are set to resume on Aug. 30, after more than a year long break caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

“Why open schools? Children need shelter due to confinement,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) during his daily morning press conference. “To return with laughter, with the precautions we have learned we can return to the game. Children need to be cared for in psycho-emotional aspects. For the good of our students, this Aug. 30 we return to school.”

“It is a priority that the children return to class,” said Gómez. “The little ones need to return. We are already seeing very serious problems of violence, very strong obesity, problems of stress from the time spent at home. I believe that beginning classes in person is for the good of all, for the little ones.”

The resumption will take place using 10 steps: First, families must join the Participating Health Committee of each educational institution to learn its health protocol. Secondly, they must establish a health filter at home and follow the one at school, plus send the children to school with gel. For the third and fourth points, antibacterial gel must be used and a mask must be worn at all times inside the educational premises respectively. 

For the fifth and sixth points of the plan, sanitary distance must be maintained and there must be a greater use of open spaces in schools. Next, as the seventh point, ceremonies and large meetings will not be held to avoid the spread of infection. Eighth, the school authorities must be immediately notified about any suspected cases of covid-19.

Ninth, students must enroll in the SEP’s “Safe Return” emotional support program, and 10th, they must sign a “Stewardship Commitment” acknowledging their responsibility in preventing the spread of coronavirus throughout their school. 

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