OELMEK calls on the Council of Ministers and the Scientific Advisory Committee (SCC) to withdraw the decision for the implementation of the "test to stay", the teachers' organization states in a relevant announcement.
"Our organization's position is the continuation of the existing health protocol, which applies to all our fellow citizens and states that close contacts are subject to mandatory self-restraint, based on which schools are kept open, even if there are difficulties," they note.
The KELS of OELMEK, after being informed about the latest decision of the Council of Ministers for the implementation of the measure "test to stay", states the following:
1. We reiterate, once again, that OELMEK's constant wish is for the schools to remain open and to operate with the physical presence of students and teachers, above all with Safety and Health, without the slightest discount on the issue of Health for students, teachers, school staff and consequently Public Health.
2. In this context, we supported, throughout the pandemic, the health protection measures deemed necessary for the safe, under the circumstances, operation of the schools. We note that the schools were kept open for most of the difficult two years we spent, primarily due to the over-effort made by the administrations and the teaching staff of the schools, despite the insufficient measures of the Ministry of Education and the State at the same time (eg distances, single desks, ventilation, replacements).
3. Unfortunately, at a time when no school or department of Secondary Education is closed or in danger of closing, the Council of Ministers decided to take the measure "test to stay", which not only does not offer anything at all to achieve the goal to keep schools open, but on the contrary causes dangers, anxiety and unnecessary disturbance, while at the same time full of contradictions.
4. In the meeting held with the Ministers of Health and Education, as well as with the Chairman of the Advisory Scientific Committee (17/01/2022) we clearly expressed the concerns of the Organization with the implementation of the measure, which were not bent with the information that we received. Among other things, he did not answer convincingly why the management of students / close contacts in schools differs from the rest of society, nor the huge contradiction of releasing the same close contacts in the morning in schools and in the afternoon to be compulsory as soon as they leave school.
5. We consider out of any logic the non-uniformity in the policy of implementation of the health protocols, ie another health protocol for the students / close contacts inside the schools and another health protocol outside the schools, giving the impression of the distinction and the experimental application of a measure thousands of students / teachers / school staff.
6. With the implementation of this decision, it is logical to increase the risk of cases within schools, due to the transmissibility of this mutation, as reported by epidemiologists themselves, thus increasing the risk of disease of students and teachers, especially in a period of outbreak. As a result, the likelihood of additional absences of teachers increases, a possibility that will further complicate the operation of schools, given the shortcomings and gaps already observed at this time in teaching staff, which has not been satisfactorily replaced.
7. Therefore, OELMEK calls on the Council of Ministers and the Scientific Advisory Committee (SCC) to withdraw the decision to implement the "test to stay". Our Organization's position is the continuation of the existing health protocol, which applies to all our fellow citizens and states that close contacts are subject to mandatory self-restraint, based on which schools are kept open, even if there are difficulties.
Taking into account the above position of the Organization, the KDS authorizes the Secretariat of OELMEK to be in constant consultation and contact with the other Educational Organizations, in order to jointly decide the next steps for the "test to stay" and the health protection measures that applied in schools, with the basic aim of not endangering the health of students, teachers, school staff and consequently Public Health