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Several schools remain open despite new COVID-19 infections detected

Update: November, 12/2021 - 08:04

Several localities will only quarantine classes where new cases are detected while continue ensuring pandemic prevention measures. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng.

HÀ NỘI —  Several localities will quarantine only the new COVID-19 cases detected on campus, without closing the entire school, said delegates at a recent online meeting between the Ministry of Education and Training and its departments. 

Upon detecting new COVID-19 infections on campus, Quảng Nam Province will only quarantine the patient’s class and not the entire school. The province’s education sector remains operational as usual, according to head of the province’s Department of Education and Training (DoET) Hà Thanh Quốc.

Boarding and day schools also organise weekly quick tests for students. For schools in outbreak “hotspots”, COVID-19 testing is conducted twice a week. 

Meanwhile, Khánh Hòa Province DoET’s strategy is to narrow down the infected areas, trace possible infections and disinfect the locations at risk quickly. Students at schools which detect new cases will only study online for two or three days before they can return to the classroom. 

The province also flexibly employs different measures, such as dividing the class and rotating between online and in-person learning. 

According to Nguyễn Thế Sơn, Bắc Ninh DoET, students across the province went back to school since September 24. With the complicated developments of the pandemic, the department has directed schools to decide on appropriate teaching methods based on the pandemic level in each locality.

Currently, 84 out of 336 education institutions in Bắc Ninh are teaching via online classes, while 13 schools opt for hybrid learning. The remaining majority have returned to in-person classes.

Cao Xuân Hùng, Director of Nam Định DoET, said that COVID-19 continued to spread in the province, infecting hundreds of teachers and students. However, educational activities continue as normal.

Five out of ten districts in Nam Định now employ online teaching. Education institutions holding in-person classes are also accelerating the curriculum to ensure teaching quality, in case complicated pandemic situations arise. 

According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Hữu Độ, the pandemic will remain unpredictable in the future. Provinces and cities thus must prioritise teachers’, staff and students’ health, and continue working to fully vaccinate these people. 

He also required localities to be flexible in teaching to complete the curriculum while maintaining education quality. 

Handling new infections as schools reopen

HCM City DoET has proposed to the city People’s Committee to allow in-person classes from December 10 for areas of low and average infection risk (Level 1 and 2 respectively). 

The remaining areas will continue with hybrid learning or online learning. The city has also planned for the situation where new infections are detected on campus. 

According to HCM City DoET, in areas of low and average risk, in-person classes can resume without extracurricular activities.

In order to reopen, schools must meet a set of safety criteria and be well-prepared to switch back to online learning in case of a complicated outbreak. 

High-risk areas (Level 3) will employ hybrid learning without extracurricular activities. Depending on the actual situation, the city districts and Thủ Đức City will decide on the teaching plans for each grade, with priority given to Grade 1, 2, 6, 9, 12. 

Classes will be arranged in different schedules to avoid large gatherings. Very high-risk areas (Level 4) will continue with online learning.

“Before students return to schools, the education sector will conduct pandemic prevention training for teachers and staff on December 8, and meet with the parents on December 9,” said Lê Hoài Nam, Deputy Director of HCM City DoET. — VNS

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