09 Sep 2020
RETURN TO SCHOOL IN A DIFFERENT SCHOOL YEAR.
THE SAFETY OF SCHOOL TRANSPORT.
Tens of thousands of children are returning to school this September.
The opening of the 2012/21 school year, which has already begun in some schools, will take place in most of them from next Monday 14th September and should represent an important step towards normality for all families in a year when everything will be different. The return to school is both a necessity and a challenge. Most countries have had to develop protocols for the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The health crisis requires the implementation of a series of measures that will significantly change the way society, and especially the education system, functions.
The health crisis has made it necessary to implement a series of measures that have significantly changed the way society and, in particular, the education system operates. Many organisational problems have arisen in the centres in trying to adapt to the new normality in applying strict protection measures and in carrying out traceability in order to prevent the spread of the virus. All of this means that both families and staff in the educational
In the strictly educational field, if we take a comparative look at what it means for students throughout the Old Continent of Europe, we will find a patchwork of different cultures, traditions and languages. Although schooling times are remarkably similar between all countries, there are also some very specific exceptions.
For example, Italian and Danish children spend most days at school, as they have around 200 school days per year, while French young people are in the classroom only 162 days a year, although they have a different distribution of the school calendar from that of Spain, with a few weeks’ break in between. Across the European continent, school weeks are five days long, with the exception of France, which, at primary level, is four days long.
For most students, the European school year begins in September and ends in mid-June. In Russia, on the other hand, the school year ends at the end of May. In Spain, the school calendar is around 177 school days.
The school bus is the main means of transport for children going to school, especially to access educational centres that are further away from the centres in some catalan towns. Students use the bus service at least ten times a week, between Monday and Friday, as they use the service both in the morning and in the afternoon.
This is a logistical relief for many parents who, because of their work or availability, cannot bring or pick up their own children. Although many of these trips are made on conventional itineraries, they could represent an increased risk of accident which could be a concern for families and therefore a large majority prefer the comfort of bus transport to and from school. This year there are also different protocols for the use of the service and in the case of school transport the current regulations are also applied in accordance with the preventive measures before the Covid-19. All users must be seated and all seats can be used. All users must be seated and all seats may be used. If the level of occupation permits, maximum separation between passengers must be ensured. Children and adolescents must enter the transport with their face-masks on and must wear them throughout the journey until they reach the classrooms. At school bus stops, when picking up and dropping off passengers, it will be very important that family units maintain adequate physical distance and wear their face-masks.
Moreover, both the facilities and the vehicles have been adapted to the protocols and measures for health and safety. The Agency for the Certification and Quality of the Environment has certified the company with the label that guarantees that the Biological Safety management systems are applied and that the Stop Covid-19 protocols for passenger transport activities are complied with.