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School year starts amid coronavirus doubts

September 2nd, 2020

A left-wing commentator acknowledges that most Hungarians do want classroom teaching, but fears that the reopening of schools will create chaos and uncertainty. Her pro-government counterpart cautions against panic and fear-mongering.

The reopening of schools on 1 September was supported by 78 per cent of respondents in a Nézőpont Institute poll published on Tuesday.

On 24.hu, Márta Grád-Kovács writes that most families feel both relief and fear at the reopening of schools. The left-wing columnist believes that coronavirus-related fears and dilemmas will cast a long shadow on education. Grád-Kovács finds the government’s guidelines and arrangements confusing, and suggests that schools will need to improvise if and when infections appear. As schools can draw up their own protocols, they may immediately shut down if a single infection appears among students or teachers. In an aside, Grád-Kovács also suggests that the government has failed to offer clear guidance concerning online teaching.

In Magyar Hírlap, Csilla Korompay acknowledges that the school year is kicking off under unprecedented conditions, but cautions against panic, anger and frustration. The pro-government commentator adds that observing hygiene rules is crucial, while at the same time she warns that classroom teaching is impossible in an atmosphere of constant fear. Korompay lambasts those she calls fear-mongers for creating panic. As an example, she mentions the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ), which criticized the government for reopening schools in the first place. Korompay rejects such criticism, and labels the PDSZ part of the ‘Soros network’, which deliberately tries to incite fear in society, in an attempt to weaken the government.

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