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Portuguese Ambassador considers that the Portuguese School of Luanda did well to close, but communicated poorly

The Portuguese Ambassador in Angola defended this Thursday the decision of the Portuguese School of Luanda (EPL) to suspend the classes in person, after a positive case of covid-19, but admitted that the communication of information "can be improved".

: Lusa
Lusa  

Pedro Pessoa e Costa reacted to the controversy involving the EPL, a target of the "displeasure" of the Ministry of Education, which was "surprised" by the school's decision and considerations about the weaknesses of the national health system. However, the health authorities praised the decision.

"The measure was right, the communication could perhaps be improved, because we must always be in communication and coordination with the authorities, whether sanitary or the Ministry of Education," stressed the ambassador, on the margins of the inauguration of an exhibition at the Portuguese Cultural Center in Luanda.

"Maybe because it was a long communication, some entities have not had such a positive reaction to the suspension of the classes in person," he said.

The diplomat considered that the decision in no way affects the EPL and said he has already spoken with the Minister of Education about the issue.

The Portuguese School of Luanda announced in a statement, released on Saturday through its website, that in the first week of returning to classes in person "a large number of students did not attend," revealing "insecurity on the part of the parents," although all security and prevention measures have been adopted, so it decided to return to the non-attendance regime from this Monday.

In addition, a positive case of infection with the new coronavirus of a student of the school was registered.

The decision was received with "surprise and displeasure" by the Ministry of Education, which stated, also in a statement, that the decision taken by the Portuguese institution does not bind the Angolan government body, which attested to the fulfillment of the pedagogical and biosafety requirements in the school.

In the opinion of the Ministry of Education, the registration of a positive case of covid-19 in a student "is not enough element to decide to suspend the mixed regime, because the protocol of the Portuguese government, and by extension of the EPL, does not foresee the closure of schools based on having been diagnosed a case or two of covid-19".

The EPL's pedagogical direction also stated in the document that the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the country, with a progressive increase in the number of cases, as well as the weakness of response in terms of medical assistance, were factors that weighed on the decision.

On this observation, the Angolan Ministry of Education considered that, "it is not up to the EPL to make value judgments on the National Health System".

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