Health measures, learning Monegasque and… a robot in class.

Isabelle Bonnal, Commissioner General for Education, Youth and Sport, presented the start of the academic year on 6 September 2021, still under Covid-19.

Health measures will be maintained as before, whilst face-to-face teaching will continue. Regarding the basic rules, students will have to respect social distancing guidelines. Students from the first grade onwards will be required to wear masks.

In case of contamination in a preschool class, the entire class will be temporarily closed. For primary classes, however, an epidemiological investigation will be carried out once three cases have been confirmed. The investigation will decide whether the class will be closed.

Concerning vaccination, Ms Bonnal was reassuring: “we have not imposed vaccination for the moment (…) for pupils, teachers and staff”.

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A robot in the classroom

In addition to the “excellent results that bring honour to the Principality“, the Commissioner intends to go further with a new school year that will bring a number of innovations.

Among these, the introduction of a “telepresence” robot for students in recovery. The device will allow the student to keep in touch with his or her peers whilst following the programme. “It’s still very difficult to stay at home or in hospital.”

Languages, a point that is “close to heart” for Isabelle Bonnal. Pupils in European classes will have the option of studying mathematics and physics and chemistry in English. In addition, Monegasque “which will eventually become compulsory until the end of secondary school”, will be taught to pupils from the third year of secondary education for one hour and fifteen minutes.