Norwegian town starts school Christmas holidays early due to Covid cases 

Pictured is Ålesund.
Schools in Ålesund will break up for the Christmas holidays earlier due to staff absences and Covid-19 problems. Pictured is the city on Norway's west coast. Photo by Jesse De Backer on Unsplash
Schools in western Norway town Ålesund will break up earlier for Christmas as the municipality manages a high number of Covid-19 cases. The Norwegian education minister has also outlined how other schools can follow suit. 

Ålesund Municipality’s crisis management services have given schools the green light to break up earlier for the Christmas holidays if they need to. 

The municipality’s crisis services made the decision due to schools struggling with Covid-19 outbreaks and staff absences. 

“We have had a very demanding situation with both coronavirus and a lot of sickness absence among employees, with respiratory disease and sick children,” municipal manager Bjørm Ivar Rødal told public broadcaster NRK

Schools in the city will break up on December 17th. They were due to break up around the 22nd. 

Nationally, Minister of Education Tonje Brenna, said that schools were free to start the holidays earlier but would need to make up for the lost days later on. 

“The municipality can change its school dates so that the last day before Christmas is earlier than originally decided, but then they will have to catch up on the days during the spring,” Brenna told newspaper VG

READ ALSO: What are Norway’s Covid rules this Christmas? 

The education minister also reminded schools that if they were to break up early, they would need to consider the impact on parents who may have to be at home with their children. 

“If the municipalities do change the school term dates, they must be aware that this means that parents must be home from work with children who can not be alone at home,” Brenna warned. 

The Ålesund city said it would continue to provide before and after school activities (termed SFO in Norwegian) for parents and children that need them. 


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