This Thursday, groups of schools received authorization to launch competitions for the acquisition of masks and other protective and safety material, such as alcohol-gel, gloves, aprons and cleaning and disinfection material, for the 3rd period.
The budget allocation made available by the Ministry of Education (ME) is seven million euros and, for the first time, it covers 1st cycle students, although the use of masks at this level is not mandatory.
In the guidelines sent to schools today, the General Directorate of Schools (DGEstE) emphasizes that the purchase of masks for 1st cycle students is taken for "reasons of prudence", after having been much requested by guardians, not being the its mandatory use.
"We warn that the use of masks by students of the 1st cycle of basic education is not mandatory, but it is important, for reasons of prudence, to ensure their availability, with the respective guardians taking the decision on their use", says the DGEstE, in its communication to schools.
The free provision, to students and professionals, of masks and other personal protective equipment, as well as disinfection and cleaning products «is part of the set of prevention and mitigation measures for the risk of transmission of COVID-19, which have allowed increase the safety of the school space”, stresses the ME.
As happened in the 1st and 2nd periods, schools will now have to buy kits with “three social/community masks for each student, teacher, technician, technical assistant and operational assistant, per period, washable 20 to 25 times (certified in accordance with the legally required)", as well as "washable aprons for operational assistants, considering the need for their use in specific tasks and not permanently", "washable gloves for operational assistants", and also "SABA (Alcohol-based antiseptic solution) ».
Prime Minister António Costa promised to present, on March 11th, the decontamination plan that could start with schools.