After pressure from students, the government has approved high schools in Aarhus to shift to physical education
by Renske Van Hoof & Simon B. Porse
High-school students in Aarhus are allowed to return to school, confirms Jacob Bundsgaard, the mayor of the second-biggest city in Denmark.
The message comes from the Ministry of Health and Elderly, which has given green light for lectures to be given physically again after criticism and protests from the pupils.
Even though the infection-rate is still high, the number of infections are decreasing. Therefore youth education can be started up physically again with only half of the students being present in the classrooms.
Before the summer holidays, high-school pupils were allowed to go to school with a few limitations. With almost no new cases anymore in June, the schools seemed close to reopening completely again, but as the number of infections soared in the beginning of August, the local government decided to postpone the return to physical classes.
Discontent youngsters: “We want to go back to school”
The decision to reopen comes after a day of protest from students.
More than a hundred high-schoolers gathered at city hall with signs saying ‘I want to go to school’ and ‘Are cafés more important than schools?’.
Fed up with the online teaching and convinced that both their academic and social life will suffer, they demanded a return to physical classes.
Peter Hove, high-school senior and frontperson of the local association of Danish high-schoolers (DSG), criticised the continued use of virtual classes, but expressed a hope for change.
“I hope I can go to school tomorrow, but I know that that is more of a fantasy,” he said at the demonstration Monday afternoon. “I will be very happy if I can return to school before September 4th.”
Staying safe in class
The schools themselves are responsible for figuring out how to return in compliance with corona-guidelines, the ministry states in the press-release.
These practicalities mean that high-schools may not be open for another few days, reports Danish public media, DR.
Despite having to wait another few days, Peter Hove from DSG is looking forward to going back to classes this friday.
“I had expected to stay home until September, so it’s only positive,” he said. “It’s also nice to see that the work we’ve done has paid off.”