Director of Hà Nội Department of Education and Training Chử Xuân Dũng. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
Director of Hà Nội Department of Education and Training Chử Xuân Dũng talks to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper about the city’s preparations for the new academic year in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020-21 academic year is the first time implementing the new educational curriculum. How has the city’s education sector prepared for this new task?
As a locality with the biggest education scale with more than 2.1 million students, Hà Nội has always considered preparation of education infrastructure and materials a top priority. In preparation for the new school year, authorities of all districts and communes of the city have invested in building and establishing 44 new schools and upgraded 72 schools.
Priority has been given to the first graders who will the first to implement the new educational curriculum, focusing on preparations for textbooks, education materials and training for teachers. Training courses on the new curriculum have been organised for 9,000 teachers.
The city has implemented many measures to speed up construction of national standard schools with the target of having 75 per cent of public schools in the city meeting national standards by the end of the year. Investment priority has been given to schools in disadvantaged areas.
Is giving priority to investing in schools in disadvantaged areas is not new?
Increasing investment for disadvantaged areas to improve quality education of the whole city as well as narrowing the gap between different areas has been a target and a task of the city’s education sector for many years. As a result, the education quality for the 2019-20 period was improved in spite of the difficulties caused by COVID-19. The capital’s students have gained impressive academic results, including 144 prizes in the national contests for excellent students and 388 prizes and medals at international competitions.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, how has the city’s education sector prepared to effectively fulfill education and training task while preventing the disease?
In implementing COVID-19 prevention and control regulations, the education sector has proactively implemented many measures to carry out education plans as scheduled while ensuring safety for teachers, students and educational staff. The city’s Department of Education and Training has kick-started all COVID-19 prevention and control activities and regularly updated schools and educational establishments with related information via the department’s portal to help them abide by the regulations effectively and fully.
To welcome students back to school for the new academic year, the city’s departments of education and training and health have issued guidelines for schools about COVID-19 prevention and control, including requiring all schools to clean and disinfect schools and classes and meet safety requirements.
The department has asked local schools to hold short and solemn opening ceremonies for the 2020-21school year scheduled on September 5 to create a jubilant atmosphere for students while ensuring observance of pandemic preventive and control measures.
Schools are instructed to decide the number of students attending the ceremony in the schoolyard based on their infrastructure in order to ensure physical distancing. Other students will participate in the event from their classrooms.
The department emphasised that any member of school staff, student or parent with symptoms such as coughing, fever or breathing difficulty should not be present at the ceremony. — VNS