Tens of millions of students back to school after long COVID-19 break

Monday, 2020-05-04 11:50:47
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Tens of millions of students nationwide have returned to school on the morning of May 4.
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NDO/VNA – Tens of millions of students nationwide, from kindergartens to high schools, have returned to school on the morning of May 4 after a three-month closure to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Among the 63 provinces and centrally-run cities in the country, 18 reopened all schools on May 4, and more than 30 others that welcomed students between grades 6 and 12 back in late April are now continuing to reopen kindergartens and primary schools.

Meanwhile, more than 10 localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, will resume the operation of primary schools and kindergartens at a later date.

In HCM City, more than 150,000 9th - 12th graders returned to school for the first time since the Lunar New Year holiday.

Most local schools made use of the National Reunification Day and May Day holiday from April 30 to May 3 to disinfect their classrooms and campuses, prepare face masks for students, and install more hand wash basins. Many schools rearranged desks while others had to consider dividing classes into smaller ones to ensure a safe distance of one metre between students.

In Hanoi, about 700,000 junior and senior high schools and establishments of continuing education were reopened on May 4.

Aside from disinfection, a number of schools also changed the timetable of classes and have continued with teaching via the internet and television.

However, many of the schools that reopened in late April have said they are facing difficulties in keeping the minimum distance of one metre between students due to the shortage of teachers and classrooms.

The Ministry of Education and Training recently issued 15 criteria for ensuring COVID-19 prevention and control in educational establishments. Any schools that are unable to meet more than seven criteria will be assessed as unsafe and will not be allowed to operate.

Over the last three months, schools across Vietnam have provided lessons via the internet and television.

More than 22 million students nationwide had just finished the 20th week of the 2019-2020 academic year when schools had to be closed down almost immediately after the Lunar New Year holiday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school year has been rescheduled to finish before July 15, one and a half months later than usual.