Czech Education Minister Petr Gazdík has submitted an amendment to the law to increase the number of days of director's leave from five to 10. The reason for this is the shortage of teaching staff and the large number of students in quarantine. However, the hygiene authorities still do not want to close schools unless more than 30 per cent of pupils and teachers are in isolation, but not every school meets this requirement. Principals must address the teacher shortage by declaring a principal's leave of absence.
School principals thus face the resentment of parents who cannot always afford to take time off work from day to day and cannot find childcare for their children. Another trigger for conflict is finances, as now parents are not entitled to nursing allowance when a head teacher's leave is announced. Whereas when a school is closed by the sanitation department or the Ministry of Education, parents are entitled to a payout.
So the desperate staffing crisis in the education sector may soon be investigated by a new amendment, which will be debated in an expedited state of legislative emergency. The ministry is preparing a modification in the provision of the so-called crisis nursing allowance, meaning that the benefits would be provided even when an emergency director's leave is declared. "In connection with the possible modification of the announcement of the director's leave due to the emergency measure during the epidemic covid-19, the ministry is preparing a modification of the provision of the so-called crisis allowance, where a variant of the provision of the benefit for the days of the announced emergency director's leave, which is to be provided according to the prepared emergency law, is envisaged," Education Minister Petr Gazdík confirmed.
The solution to the whole situation could also be online teaching, which would allow teachers and pupils who are quarantined to continue teaching. This option was also confirmed by the chairman of the Union of School Associations CZESHA, Jiří Zajíček.
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