|Thousands of ninth and 12th graders in HCM City returned to school on December 13 after learning online for months because of the pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Giang
HCM CITY — More than 100,000 ninth and 12th graders in HCM City went back to school on Monday after more than seven months absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many secondary and high schools in the city have completed plans and necessary preparation to ensure safety for their students after a long period of online learning.
Last Friday, many secondary and high schools organised rehearsals for their students and teachers to practice pandemic prevention and control measures before welcoming students back.
Parents have also spoken to their children about the situation to relieve anxiety when they return to school.
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy director of the city’s Department of Health, said the students were eagerly waiting to see their friends and teachers instead of meeting on a computer screen.
“The pandemic is still raging with a worrying new strain of the virus, but it is impossible to learn everything online and not go to school,” he said.
Prolonged online learning can greatly affect students’ psycho-physiological development, especially teenagers. “That can lead to problems such as myopia, astigmatism and scoliosis,” he said.
The department has required schools to improve the quality of medical rooms and health care, and increase physical activities to ensure good health for students.
Nguyễn Minh, principal at Trần Đại Nghĩa High School in District 1, said the school has strictly implemented measures to ensure safety for students, teachers and staff.
To relieve overcrowding, the school has arranged classes apart from each other, with an empty room between two classes.
In the first two weeks of in-person learning, the students will only study one lesson per day with 20 lessons per week, focusing on subjects related to the 10th-grade entrance exam for ninth graders and the national high school graduation exam for 12th graders. Other subjects will be taught online.
“The important thing is the psychology of students and their parents. They need to remain calm and not panic,” he said.
The school has prepared an isolation room in case there is a suspected case of COVID-19 so that health workers can handle it quickly and limit the spread of the virus.
Trần Văn Luyện, principal of the Hồng Bàng Secondary School in District 5, said the students are required to keep a safe distance.
They are splitting classes into two smaller groups and face-to-face classes are held only three times a week. The students will continue to learn the other subjects online.
Hồ Tấn Minh, chief of office of the city's Department of Education and Training, said that parents and teachers need to equip students with pandemic prevention skills to ensure their safety and others around them.
Schools and students’ families should work closely together. Parents must carefully observe their children’s health and keep them at home if they have any unusual symptoms, he said. — VNS