Tirana, Albania – | 24 Jan 2022 (Tirana Echo) – Albania’s government has decided to close all elementary, secondary and high schools until Wednesday, citing freezing polar temperatures across the country as the main reason.
The controversial decision comes as the country is gripped by a record number of Omicron infections,
with many pupils and teachers missing from schools, fueling allegations that the school closures have nothing to do with freezing temperatures.
“Given our absolute priority is the health and the well being of our children, we have decided to close schools from Monday to Wednesday. All lost hours will be replaced following further consultations with local and regional educational offices,” said Albanian Minister of Education Evis Kushi.
While Albanian local media have cited night temperatures of -13C the reality seems rather different. In Albania’s capital Tirana, today’s temperatures vary from -4C to +7C while mountainous areas are reporting sub zero temperatures.
However, the decision raises questions about the lack of proper heating across Albania’s schools, where thousands of pupils spend their winter months wearing polar coats indoors.
Albania’s socialist government boasts inaugurating newly reconstructed schools while parents complain of inadequate logistical and human resources conditions across educational establishments.
Albania is hoping to join the European Union and its government is currently expecting to start accession talks with Brussels.
Several key EU member states have raised concerns that the small Balkan country needs to get its act together in raising governance and rule of law standards before it can realistically hope to join the Union.
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