Tens of millions of students back to school after long COVID-19 break hinh anh 1A class of the Viet Duc High School in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem district. Hanoi reopened junior and senior high schools on May 4 after a three-month closure (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Tens of millions of students from kindergartens to high schools nationwide returned to school on May 4 morning 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 have welcomed students between the sixth and 12th grades back since late April now continue to reopen kindergartens and primary schools.

Meanwhile, more than 10 localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, will resume operations of primary schools and kindergartens later.

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

Most of local schools made use of the National Reunification Day and May Day holiday from April 30 to May 3 to disinfect classrooms and their 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 the safe distance of one metre among 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 continued with teaching via the internet and television.

However, many schools that have reopened since late April said they are facing difficulties in keeping the minimum distance of one metre among 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 at educational establishments. Any schools that are unable to meet more than seven criteria will be assessed as unsafe and not allowed to operate.

Over the last three months, schools across Vietnam have provided teaching 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 closed down almost immediately after the Lunar New Year holiday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school year was rescheduled to finish before July 15, one and a half months later than usual./.