Covid19 – spring holidays brought forward to begin on evening of Friday 9 April
Operating under the authority of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, the Prince’s Government has decided to bring forward by two weeks the spring holiday originally scheduled to run from the evening of 22 April to the morning of Monday 10 May. All schools will now begin the holiday on the evening of Friday 9 April, and will return to classrooms on Monday 26 April.
Next week, all schools will be open from Tuesday 6 April to Friday 9 April, and will deliver classes in person.
Before going ahead with this decision to synchronise the school calendar with that of the Nice Education Authority, the Minister of the Interior consulted widely with school leadership teams, teachers and parents’ associations, as well as with the National Council, which was not in favour of changing the holiday dates.
This consultation process enabled the Monaco Parent–Teacher Association (APEM) to highlight the organisational difficulties that such a change in the school calendar might cause for families, particularly those who had planned trips during the originally scheduled holiday period. The Prince’s Government fully acknowledges these difficulties.
However, the Government’s aim is to strike a balance between the quality of education and protecting the health of pupils and Department of Education staff as far as possible.
By bringing forward the holiday, it will be possible to guarantee both the quality of education and a safe health situation in schools. In effect, 67% of teachers are seconded from the French system, and the majority of non-teaching staff live in France. The risk of critical staff shortages is genuine, and this would have a significant impact on the consistency of classes taught and the supervision required to accommodate pupils under the safest possible health conditions.
In addition, the teaching teams believe that bringing the school holidays forward is beneficial given the fatigue being felt by staff and students alike as a result of all of the constraints affecting the everyday operation of schools.
The Prince’s Government did all it could to organise care for the children of staff concerned, however it unfortunately proved impossible to make this happen. The Prince Albert II Leisure Centre in La Turbie, which is the only facility able to accommodate a large number of children, is not permitted to open due to the health measures in force in France.