A student has her temperature checked at the entrance to Việt Đức High school in Hà Nội on Monday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội's 12th graders returned to school on Monday after seven months of online learning in the capital, joining their peers in many other provinces around the country.
Hà Nội's Department of Education and Training announced last week a back-to-school plan for high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12. However, the plan was changed on Sunday due to further COVID-19 developments.
As such, the return of 10th and 11th graders has been delayed, while 12th graders will attend on a mixture of online and in-person classes.
The returning students will have a staggered schedule - half will attend school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while the other half will go on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Students will learn online for the days that they are at home.
Ninth graders in 18 outlying districts will continue to study at school. Students of other grades will be taught online. Preschool children will continue to learn at home.
The department requested schools to only arrange one block of learning (either in the morning or afternoon) instead of the usual two.
Students are attending in-person classes after seven months off school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo
Lê Bích Hường, a 12th grader at Việt Đức High School, said she is very excited about returning to in-person classes, due to their importance to high school graduation and university entrance exams.
“I know the uncertainties caused by the pandemic are not over, so we will strictly follow all preventive measures,” she said.
Nguyễn Bội Quỳnh, principal of the high school, said that teachers can better instruct and assist students during in-person classes.
“To students whose parents did not agree to let them attend in-person classes, we can arrange online classes for them,” she said.
A boy walks past a sign celebrating the return to school. VNA/VNS Photo
On the first day back-to-school, besides implementing disease prevention and control measures, Việt Đức High School also polled students, asking them how they felt.
Parents told Vietnam News Agency that they were still worried when letting their children go to school. However, the move is necessary for their schooling, they said, adding that they felt reassured as the children received their first doses of vaccine against the COVID-19.
“The disease infection can happen anywhere, not only at school,” a father said.
High schools in Phố Huế Wards of Hai Bà Trưng District, and Khâm Thiên and Trung Phụng Wards in Đống Đa District remained closed as they are located in high-risk areas of infections. Several private schools in the city, including Marie Curie Highschool and Lương Thế Vinh Secondary and High School, are continuing with online teaching.
Vice Director of Hà Nội’s Department of Education and Training Phạm Xuân Tiến said that schools are well-prepared for re-opening and they will strictly follow instructions from health and education authorities.
Tiến called on students and their families to strictly implement the health ministry’s 5K message on preventive measures, as well as checking temperatures before going to school.
“The education department asked schools to develop disease prevention and control plans,” he said, adding that once a suspected COVID-19 case was reported, schools will closely cooperate with local healthcare to take the required follow-up steps as soon as possible.
“Some parents are still confused over whether their children should go back to school," he said, emphasising that now is a 'golden' time for students to review the lessons they learned online to prepare for important upcoming exams.
Schools must now give priority to the twin tasks of COVID-19 prevention and control and ensuring teaching quality, helping students to complete learning programmes properly, Tiến said.
In the central city of Đà Nẵng, following high school students, students in the first, 10th and 11th grades returned to school on Monday.
According to the city’s Department of Education and Training, 19 primary schools and ten secondary schools, accounting for 19 and 17 per cent of schools of their kind in the city, remain closed due to their locations in high-risk areas.
One high school in the city is still offering online teaching for all of its students.
The department reported that about 75 per cent of first-graders in the city attended in-person classes on Monday.
Vice chairwoman of the Đà Nẵng's People’s Committee, Ngô Thị Kim Yến, said that in wards and communes that are deemed high-risk areas (with more than 50 COVID-19 infections), first graders will not be allowed to attend in-person classes.
Teachers will be tested weekly in schools that reopen. They will be asked to limit in-person contacts, closely monitor their health and report their health status often.
The northern province of Yên Bái also reopened on Monday.
In the northern province of Hải Dương, primary and secondary school students returned to school, except those in Cẩm Thượng Ward and Liên Hồng Commune.
In the southern province of Long An, high school students and university/college students also returned to school this week. Secondary and primary school students in the province will be back early next month.
Students in Quy Nhơn City of Bình Định Province started in-person classes on Monday. Primary and secondary schools in the wards that are deemed high-risk areas have arranged in-person classes for ninth graders only. Schools in areas with pandemic level 4 – very-high-risk areas - will continue to organise online teaching and learning. — VNS