Further information about schools in the Canton of Basel-Stadt

19/03/2020 (15:10)
Press release
Department of Education

As part of the steps to combat the spread of coronavirus, Basel schools will remain closed until at least 19 April. However, teaching will not be cancelled, as schools will be making educational services and assignments available to pupils. Various measures have been planned for the different stages of education. Main objectives: The school closures are problematic for everyone, but they should not have any negative consequences for the educational career of individual pupils.

To enable schools to fulfil their educational remit even in this extraordinary situation, the following precautions have been taken:

Elementary schools
Teachers are making materials with age-appropriate exercises available to all pupils. These exercises aim to enable pupils to practise and deepen knowledge of topics covered so far in school. No examinations will be taken and no grades will be awarded before the spring holidays. However, teachers will give pupils feedback about their homework.

Secondary schools
Schools will continue to teach young people to the furthest possible extent. Pupils will receive instruction and support for learning. This “distance learning” is new and therefore unfamiliar for parents, young people and teachers. However, the coming days and weeks will show what works in practice and what doesn’t. We are drawing up legally protected solutions on the issue of “moving up to higher classes and leaving certificates”, an issue that would mainly be relevant if schools remain closed beyond the spring holidays.

Currently being unable to work in their business because it is closed is a major problem for apprentices. Together with the Department for the Economy, Social Affairs and the Environment [Departement für Wirtschaft, Soziales und Umwelt] we are doing all we can to offer businesses that take on apprentices financial prospects so that apprenticeships can continue.

Our common goal is for children and young people to be able to continue their education or training as far as is possible. At the same time, we are all aware that without being together in the classroom and in schools or vocational schools, a very important part of education will be missing. This places enormous strain on parents, pupils and teachers. This is particularly true for pupils who rely on additional support in normal school life. The Department of Education would like to give everybody the best possible support under the present circumstances.

Childcare options
The canton has a duty to provide childcare appropriate to this extraordinary situation. Restrictions upon the normal range of childcare options are – like the school closures – necessary in order to stem the spread of coronavirus and to reduce the frequency of infections.

Daycare facilities and childcare at individual school sites in the canton are therefore only available to children of parents who cannot get childcare or who can only get childcare from particularly vulnerable people. These are mainly parents who work in healthcare professions that are essential in the fight against the epidemic or who have other unavoidable work commitments. Childcare services may also be used if partial mobilization of the armed forces means that one parent is absent and care for preschool or school children is urgently required. Daycare facilities will provide this limited service for preschool children; elementary schools will provide it for primary school children.

We will also continue to provide these childcare services during the normal spring holidays, in line with need. During these periods, we will also make these services available to parents who have to work in healthcare on the weekends and during the holidays.