Schools to remain closed if local area still at high risk of infection hinh anh 1Ninth graders of the Vo Thi Sau Secondary School in Ca Mau city of Ca Mau province return to school on April 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Schools will stay closed if the COVID-19 situation in the local area remains high risk, while those classified as low risk will consider local circumstances in deciding upon a reopening date, said an education official.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do told a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on April 20 that the Prime Minister recently classified cities and provinces into groups at “high risk”, “risk”, and “low risk” of infection. Localities in the first two groups are not to reopen their schools at this time but must bolster online studies.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) held a meeting with 19 provinces and cities facing difficulties in organising online classes in remote areas, with all expressing a determination to push ahead with the task and focus on supporting students in need to ensure they have access to online studies.

Meanwhile, low risk provinces and cities can reopen schools, Do said, noting that northern Thai Binh province and the southernmost province of Ca Mau have been the first to do so. In Ca Mau, students in Grades 9 and 12, who are preparing for graduation, returned to school first.

With a view to ensuring the safety of students, the MoET has coordinated with the Ministry of Health to issue guidelines on matters requiring attention before, during, and after students attend school, with more detailed instructions to be provided as the pandemic develops.

Students must have good health before being allowed to go to school, Do said, with face masks worn and body temperatures checked before and after they arrive at school. Schools have also been told to suspend extra-curricular activities and must ensure social distancing by allowing students to come to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with no more than 20 students in each classroom.

Ninth and 12th graders should be back to school first while others should return one week later, he said.

Online and face-to-face classes, he went on, should be combined to ensure the annual curricula is completed on schedule, prior to July 15./.