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Greek President Sakellaropoulou on Opening of Schools

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Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS - The return to school for pupils in their last year ushers them into a new reality that all people will be forced to live with as long as the virus remains among us, pushing them to adapt into a new collective way of life based on greater self-discipline, solidarity and responsibility, stated President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou in a Facebook post on Monday.

The president underlined that the return to school is a first step for a return to live contact with learning, organised life, friends and teachers.

She noted, however, that it was not a simple step, nor easy, as the landscape will be completely new and "some pupils and teachers will not be there, so the distance between them will intensify the sense of non-normality".

Sakellaropoulou noted that the anxiety of parents and the stress of teachers in the face of their increased responsibilities was understandable, as was the children’s fear of the virus, adding: "The systematic observance of hygiene rules and compliance with the specific instructions that concern each school is now absolutely imperative."

However, she added, it was equally or even more important to provide children with psychological support and meaningful communication, understanding their needs, and for parents and teachers to support them. "We stand by all the teachers who are called upon to go beyond their ordinary methods of teaching and behaving, proving that, even in extraordinary conditions, the education process can continue unhindered and with success.