Rio de Janeiro to suspend return to classes until August 20

Rio de Janeiro to suspend return to classes until August 20

Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel decided on Wednesday to push back the return to in-person classes in the state for another 15 days, until August 20. The official decision, published on today’s edition of the State Gazette, says the measure was taken to “safeguard the public interest in preventing the spread of Covid-19.”

Rio de Janeiro was originally scheduled to reopen schools today, a decision that was met with heavy criticism from the outset on the behalf of education workers and health experts, who argued that a premature return to action would pose unnecessary risks to students and teachers.

Despite Mr. Witzel’s decision, private schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro were cleared to return to in-person activities on August 3, sparking a strike by 500 teachers from the Private School Teachers Union in Rio de Janeiro (Sinpro).

The debate over when to return to in-person classes is raging nationwide, with state administrations struggling to find a consensus on when would be the right time to get students back in the classroom. The Rio de Janeiro administration’s decision to backtrack on its original plans is the latest example of a reopening process that has been clouded with fear and uncertainty, as recently reported by The Brazilian Report.

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