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Without control of the pandemic, public and private universities in São Paulo postpone back to face-to-face classes

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São Paulo – Contrary to the speech of the São Paulo governor, João Doria (PSDB), that the return to face-to-face classes is safe, the public and private universities of São Paulo decided today (11) to keep only remote education in most of the courses. “We are working very carefully, prioritizing people’s health and life,” said Célia Maria Giacheti, the dean of undergraduate studies at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp), to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. With the pandemic out of control, the state has an average of more than 10,000 new cases, 245 deaths and 1,400 hospitalizations daily.

The resumption of classes at universities was authorized
by Doria and can have up to 35% of students per class. Unesp classes must
be resumed in April, but only subjects that require practical classes,
like health courses, will be in person. The rest will be kept in
remote education, at least until the end of the first semester. At USP the decision is
same.

The State University of Campinas (Unicamp), on the other hand, had its face-to-face activities suspended at the end of January, due to the increase in cases of covid-19 in the state. The decision is valid, at least, until the end of the first semester, even if the regions of Campinas and Piracicaba, where the university campuses are located, enter into less restrictive phases of the São Paulo Plan.

Necessary common sense

The president of the Union of Teachers of Official Education of the State of São Paulo (Apeoesp) and state deputy, Professor Bebel (PT), considers that the positioning of universities in São Paulo is a clear demonstration that the decision to return to face-to-face classes amid covid-19 pandemic is risky and senseless. Apeoesp has recorded 262 cases of covid-19 among teachers and other education workers since the beginning of planning last week (read more below).

“The decision by state public universities to maintain remote education only further demonstrates the folly of the State Secretary for Education to compel the resumption of face-to-face classes at the state school system and the fairness of our strike in defense of life. State schools, as we have already demonstrated, do not have the structure, ventilation conditions and personnel to guarantee health security protocols. It also shows the neglect of the government, which sends poor quality personal protective equipment and expired gel alcohol. Schools don’t even have enough cleaning staff to perform daily cleaning every three hours, ”said Bebel.

Today, the state of São Paulo registers, on average, more than 10,000 new cases of covid-19, 245 deaths and 1,400 hospitalizations per day.

Private universities

Even private colleges, which claim to have better conditions to guarantee the safety of students, have chosen to postpone the return of face-to-face classes, at least during the first semester of this year. Universities consider that the current situation of the pandemic does not allow a safe resumption of classes. “The students themselves consider that there is no reason for the return in person at this critical moment,” said Rodrigo Capelato, executive director of the Union of Maintaining Entities for Higher Education (Semesp), in an interview with UOL.

In addition, highlights the boss of the employers’ union, in general students from private schools are better able to choose distance learning. “The adaptation to the remote was good in undergraduate courses”, he evaluates.

Federal Universities

Federal universities go along the same lines. According to information from the National Association of Directors of Federal Institutions of Higher Education (Andifes), all institutions that have already presented planning for 2021 will resume with remote classes. Exception only for courses that have practical activities. “Most universities have plans. These plans condition the face-to-face return to the epidemiological conditions ”, said Andifes, in a note.

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Economy

Argentine President contaminated by covid-19 and fulfills isolation

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São Paulo – The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, informed on social media that he tested positive for covid-19, after showing symptoms of the disease. He said he is in isolation and has warned people with whom he has had contact in the past 48 hours. And he also reported that he had 37.3ºC of fever, in addition to feeling a slight headache.

The announcement was made this Saturday (3), the day after Fernández turned 62. “For everyone’s information, I am physically well and, although I wanted to end my birthday without this news, I am also in a good mood,” said the president.

He received the first dose of the vaccine (Sputnik) in January. The second, the following month. “I’m fine, I don’t have any symptoms. Only this fever from yesterday that I reported ”, he declared to the newspaper Clarín. “It is a very complicated virus, and the demonstration is that I got infected, even though I was vaccinated with both doses and with extreme care,” he added.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who received the second dose of the vaccine today, sent a message of support to “Daqui do Brasil I send good energy, hoping for its prompt recovery. May soon overcome this disease to continue caring for the Argentine people. Hugs, mate! ”He wrote.

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