August 13, 2020 at 4:17 AM EDT
As German students return to crowded classrooms, fears meet cautious optimism
BERLIN — At GutsMuths elementary school in Germany’s capital, the first day of class was much as it is every year: Parents waved goodbye as children ran around, and teachers sought to establish order. Many wore face masks, the only obvious sign of the pandemic.
As novel coronavirus case numbers continue to rise around the world, many students in Germany returned to classrooms this week, in a closely watched effort to reopen schools in the European Union’s most populous country.
Andreas Stehning, a professional driver, expressed mixed feelings as he dropped off his daughter Luisa, 10, at GutsMuths school.
He had cut back work during the pandemic to devote time to home schooling. “It was not easy,” he said. “To become a teacher overnight is not everyone’s cup of tea. But what else should we have done?”
By Rick Noack and William Glucroft