Due to the spread of the coronavirus, in its Decision No. 1102/2020 on the introduction of a new working procedure in public education and vocational training institutions due to the coronavirus, the government decided on the introduction of a digital distance (outside the classroom) working procedure for schools. The decision extends to all public education institutions, not including nursery schools, pedagogical assistance service institutions and institutions providing pedagogical services.

General information

From 16 March 2020, education will be organised in a digital distance working mode outside the classroom. It is important to stress that this is not an extraordinary school break; it is a change in the mode of education which will continue to guarantee the possibility of learning for students as laid down in the Fundamental Law. Both schools and teachers will have to adapt to changed circumstances.

In the new working procedure, students are not allowed to attend institutions for educational purposes. The educational programme is determined and the learning process is verified and supported online or in another manner which does not require personal meeting between teachers and students, in such a way that the distance teaching of the educational programme in digital mode should be capable of enabling students to meet the relevant study requirements.

During the term of digital distance education, wherever possible, students should avoid meeting in larger groups and group programmes. It is desirable to organise student supervision with the involvement of parents, families and neighbours, in small groups. The supervision of children by grandparents is not recommended as they are most at risk from the virus, so we should protect them.

Pursuant to the Government Decision, from 16 March 2020, based on parental needs, in justified circumstances, in the case of schools coming under the effect of the Act on National Public Education, the school district centre with territorial competence, while in the case of vocational training institutions, the vocational training centre with territorial competence will organise the supervision of children and students in small groups during the day on working days. Organisation means that – based on prior consultation – non-state-operated institutions may naturally also take part in such arrangements.

As work is ongoing, teachers are entitled to a salary also during the term of the digital distance working procedure.

In order for teachers and students to be able to change over to the new working procedure as easily as possible, the minister responsible for education will publish methodological recommendations.

The buildings of public education institutions will not be closed. The institution head and persons entrusted with responsibilities to be performed on site in the interest of the organisation of the new working procedure will continue to work on school premises.

If teachers are required to visit school premises in connection with the fulfilment of their jobs – e.g. for the purpose of using the local digital infrastructure – they may do so.

During the term of the new working procedure, the institution head or the member institution head and at least one of his or her deputies (in his or her absence, the person designated in the procedure for deputisation) must be present on the premises of the institution or member institution during working hours on working days, and organise responsibilities related to the new working procedure.

Providing school meals for children in a given settlement is a municipal responsibility, regardless of the institution type. The kitchens used for cooking school meals will continue to remain available; however, meals cannot be served for children in school buildings. Therefore, in the case of children where justified by circumstances, meals will have to be provided in the most optimal locally possible manner (for instance, delivery).

If the state of danger instated due to the coronavirus epidemic is upheld over an extended period, we will issue further detailed information in connection with final examinations. At present, we believe that also in this arrangement students can be successfully prepared for them, and the organisation of the examinations is likewise feasible.

Information solely relating to student residence institutions

We are not implementing special measures in relation to student residence institutions, given that as expected, the vast majority of students will return home. However, in special cases, keeping student residence institutions open may be necessary. We suggest that dormitory teachers provide for the supervision of students who may remain in student residence institutions. However, student residence institutions may also be involved in the supervision of children in small groups, while in the case of teachers performing educational responsibilities, the general procedure identified for digital distance teaching will apply.

Information solely relating to pedagogical assistance services
The Government Decision does not apply to pedagogical assistance services. Given that in these institutions there is typically no group teaching, the Klebelsberg Centre and school districts will adjust the conditions of operation and teaching in respect of each type of service (e.g. speech therapy, activities of expert committees, behavioural consulting) to the circumstances of the state of danger as at any time.

(Ministry of Human Capacities)