Making news

Students in low-risk localities returning to schools after closure

The northern province of Thai Binh and the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau were the two first localities in Vietnam to let students return to schools on April 20 after an extended closure due to COVID-19.

In the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, nearly 22,000 ninth and twelfth graders were back to school while other students still stay at home and wait for further notice.

Schools were requested to split classes into smaller groups and implement measures to maintain a safe distance of two metres between parents when waiting to pick up their children.

While in Thai Binh province, students from grade 9 to 12 only spend half a day at schools as opposed to the usual full-time schedule. The provincial Department of Education and Training also asked high schools to arrange for grade 11 and 12 to study in the morning and grade 10 in the afternoon.

The Thanh Hoa provincial People’s Committee on the day released an urgent notice to allow secondary and high school students to come back to school on April 21.

In southern Vinh Long province, ninth and twelfth graders will return to schools from April 27.

Other localities in the low-risk group of infections also have plans to re-open secondary and high schools in late April or early May. Primary schools and kindergartens are expected to receive students one or two weeks later.

Schools are asked to sterilise campuses, provide soap and antiseptic hand wash for students and ensure ventilation. All mass gatherings including fieldtrips or extra classes are currently prohibited until further notice.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do said 35 low-risk provinces and cities across the country should consider when to re-admit students as well as put the safety of students and teachers first.

Final year students including ninth and twelfth graders should be prioritised to return to school, he said, adding students did not need to be on campus the whole week. Timetables can be re-scheduled to make sure students spend at least three days at school.

The deputy minister said each class could be divided in half while online and on-campus teaching could be combined to ensure knowledge is delivered for students.

He also asked schools to strictly follow instructions of the Ministry of Education and Training and Ministry of Health on practicing good hygiene./.