English secondary school students asked to wear masks in the classroom

The British government has requested high school students in the UK to wear masks in the classroom to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Face covers are already recommended in outdoor common areas and corridors, usually for students over 7th grade, usually 11 years and older. But with that latest guidance (pdfThe Ministry of Education (DfE), published on January 2, recommended wearing masks in the classroom as well, when the new semester begins after Christmas holidays.

According to DfE, an additional 7,000 air purifiers will be provided in schools, colleges, and initial settings to improve ventilation in educational spaces.

The recommendation is temporary and is valid until January 26, when the government’s “Plan B” regulation on COVID-19 expires.

Secretary of Education Nadhim Zahawi said, “Being in the classroom is arguably the best place for children,” he said, looking forward to students returning to school next week to continue face-to-face learning.

“There is no doubt that the Omicron variant presents a challenge,” he said, but praised the education department for its “Heracles” reaction.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sees education as a “top priority” and said the new measures will help “minimize confusion.”

This move was welcomed by the major opposition Labor Party. Labor’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Wes Streeting, said he prefers to wear masks in the classroom rather than out-of-school children.

“If you choose to put on a mask at school or choose a large number of children who are absent from school, of course you want to keep your students learning. That must be a priority,” he said. I told the news.

However, Conservative senior member Robert Halfon said he was afraid that wearing a mask at school could compromise the mental health of the child.

Halfon, chair of the House of Commons’ Education Selection Committee, said there was a need to balance the risks of COVID-19 with the risks to children’s well-being.

“There is a lot of evidence from Belgium to Canada to the United States, which can be detrimental to children’s masks, mental health, well-being, communicative competence, emotional perception,” he said. ..

He added: “You don’t have to wear a mask in an adult office. So why do school and classroom kids have a requirement when they are at least at risk of COVID?”

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan


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