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29. April 2020.

Belgrade – As part of relaxing the state of emergency measures, Minister of Education, Mladen Sarcevic, announced the beginning of operation of kindergartens as of May 11, then how it would be easier for parents with children of up to 12 years old to go to work, but also how primary school final exam and entrance exam for universities would be taken.  

“The overall relaxation of the measures is negotiated with experts and it is estimated that kindergartens can start operating from May 11. However, it should not be a massive return of kids to kindergartens at the first moment, but only for the needs of the parents who are going back to work at full capacity or going back to their working places, ”said the Minister of Education.

He also said that there were about 225,000 pre-school children and that about 50 percent of them were expected to start going to kindergartens.

“The analysis conducted by medical experts shows that smaller groups would be safe with the obligatory disinfection of kindergarten premises and adherence to the basic safety rules, such as wearing masks and gloves by kindergarten teachers,”the Minister said.

He added that five centers for the manufacturing of disinfectants and hygiene products were provided for kindergartens, schools and faculties in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Nis, Novi Sad and Valjevo. As he said, distribution would be much easier in that way.

The Minister said that an assessment was being made of how many kindergarten teachers were able to work, as there were COVID-19 patients among them, too, and how many of them were engaged in doing some other jobs. 

A Working Team has been formed which will, in accordance with the recommendations of the Crisis Staff, determine the practical part of the implementation of the measures. The team includes representatives of the Ministry of Education and three trade unions, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, the Prime Minister's Office and local self-governments.

“Parents will need to provide kindergartens with the confirmations from their employers that they have to go to work. That is a measure to prevent a massive return of kids to kindergartens”, the Minister said.

In accordance with the same measures, which are primarily aimed at safety and reducing the spread of the virus, a decision on students up to 12 years old, whose parents could work from home because of their age, was also reached.

“As we move towards the process of ending the state of emergency and starting the process of going back to work, we will help the parents with children that are up to 12 years old, so that they would not stay at home alone. We plan to organize daycare in schools, and it is estimated that about 30 percent of children will benefit from it. This support for the parents will also start on May 11", Minister Sarcevic said.

Source: Jugmedia, “Blic” daily and Coordination Body