Teachers and pupils absent from school due to viral infections
CORFU. Primary teachers΄ union (SEPE) calls for immediate recruitment of substitute teachers exclusively for the emergency vacancies, such as recruitment of cleaning staff.
Emergency vacancies have arisen in Corfu schools due to viral infections amongst teachers, while about 15% of primary school pupils had been absent after the holidays due to illness.
The President of the Association of Primary School Teachers Antonis Koursaris said that the vacancies that have arisen in Corfu schools cannot be filled by the existing staff, as the remaining teachers have no available hours. He also pointed out that the Corfu Primary Education Department has officially requested for the first time that these vacancies be recorded.
According to the recording, 43 teachers were absent from Corfu nursery and primary schools, while there were also cases where 4 or 5 teachers were absent from the same school at the same time.
"There is no provision for filling the vacancies that are being created in schools by teachers who fall ill. Obviously, no classes can be held under these circumstances. The Ministry of Education's indifference to the smooth operation of schools, which is ensured only thanks to the personal effort of teachers, is obvious and provocative," said Mr. Koursaris.
As he said, there is an urgent need for the immediate recruitment of substitute teachers exclusively for the emergency vacancies, as well as the recruitment of cleaning staff by the municipalities, due to the big spike in the cases of flu, coronavirus and viral infections.
Junior high and high schools
Problems with emergency vacancies are also found in Corfu junior high and high schools, including vocational high schools.
According to the Ionian Islands Regional Education Department, 6% of the teachers, i.e. 58 teachers, were absent from the schools. The Ionian Islands Director of Education Petros Aggelopoulos told Enimerosi that the percentage of teachers that are absent due to illness is not high in comparison with the total number of Corfu primary (1,250) and secondary school teachers (967).
"Maybe the number is a bit higher in secondary education. However, the management of pupils in classes where teachers are absent is decided by the Teachers' Association. Schools must provide education," he said. However, as Mr. Koursaris pointed out, pupils are forced to go to other classes until the school day is over.