From Monday, all schools and kindergartens in Oslo will be at the green level. Those who manage to adjust faster can switch to the green level earlier.
This is confirmed by school councilor Sunniva Holmås Eidsvoll (SV) to Aftenposten.
– Now we can finally tell all schools and kindergartens in Oslo that they can go to the green level. They will do so from Monday. But if they reach it sooner, then they can do it.
It is almost two weeks since the government abolished the requirement for a yellow level in schools in Norway. It is now up to the municipalities themselves to assess what level they should be at.
Oslo went to the green level in upper secondary and in adult education, but has until now kept at the yellow level for the younger age groups in school and kindergarten.
Continued mass testing
Eidsvoll is clear that the transition to the green level is based on clear professional advice from the health authorities.
– We have said that Oslo should not be closed down one day too long. Then we must open up now when there is clear advice from the health authorities that we can do it, says Eidsvoll.
Even though it is a green level, the school board emphasizes that it is important to continue to have sound infection control operations and that the sick should stay at home. Mass testing of students and staff also continues.
– There is still mass testing twice a week by the students from 1st to 10th grade. Employees in schools and kindergartens for tests as well. Employees in kindergartens and schools are prioritized when self-tests are now to be handed out, says Eidsvoll.
Staffing situation the most challenging
On Tuesday, the director of the Education Agency in Oslo, Marte Gerhardsen, stated to Dagsavisen that the Education Agency wanted to move away from the traffic light model.
This was partly because according to the agency’s surveys, one in four schools in Oslo responded to a survey that they have a critical shortage of staff.
The agency was thus only partially heard. With a green level, Oslo is still part of the much-discussed traffic light model.
– But we now experience that it is outdated. It is adapted to the pandemic as it was a goal to limit the infection as much as possible. Now we are not primarily afraid of the infection, says Eidsvoll.
The most precarious thing for schools and kindergartens is now the challenging staffing situation with many employees in quarantine and isolation, says the school board.
– What can now make the situation easier are two things, says Eidsvoll:
– One is new quarantine rules for household members in that you can test yourself instead of being in quarantine. It’s new from today.
– It is that at the green level there is more flexibility in the use of personnel across groups.
The school board says that she still has a great understanding that the situation for employees is still very demanding.
– Parents must be prepared for the fact that in individual kindergartens and schools there will be a need for a slightly reduced offer if there is no staffing.