Tuesday, May 24 2022

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Education minister stresses need for schools to reopen

Update: January, 26/2022 - 11:23

 

Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn has underlined the importance of reopening schools, stressing that sufficient conditions are in place to get children back to class.

Safely adapting to the pandemic and gradually reopening schools are highly necessary for educational activities to return to normal, he told the Vietnam News Agency.

He said under the Government’s directions on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) had worked with the Health Ministry to issue guidance on pandemic safety for students once in-person learning is restored.

Over the last two years, online teaching had been carried out on a large scale as a compulsory measure in response to the pandemic. However, differences in communication infrastructure and economic conditions among regions had resulted in a large gap in educational access. Students, especially preschool and primary, in less developed, mountainous, and insular areas had encountered disadvantages, Son admitted.

Facing that fact, various solutions had been put in place. Under a programme launched by the Prime Minister, localities, businesses, organisations, and individuals had donated school tools and expanded Internet coverage to help with online learning. Thousands of computers and smart phones had been delivered to underprivileged students, according to the minister.

He held that the pandemic had given a boost to the IT application in the education sector, greatly contributing to the fundamental and comprehensive reform of education and training.

The official said prolonged virtual learning might lead to certain negative impacts on educational quality, as well as the physical and mental health of teachers, students, and other related people.

Meanwhile, Việt Nam had recorded a high vaccination rate in the community, including those aged between 12 and under 18, and gained more experience in disease prevention and control. It now had sufficient grounds, experience, and conditions to strongly promote school reopening.

This was not merely school reopening but also the reinforcement and reconstruction of education, Sơn added.

The MoET had also asked localities to make plans on consolidating knowledge for students when in-person learning is resumed, he said, not just for one year of online learning.

The issues related to students’ mental health, especially during the pandemic and a return to in-person learning, must also be taken into account and demand measures, including consultation, from localities as well.

During a meeting in Hà Nội last week, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngô Thị Minh said 14 localities nationwide had restored in-person learning, 30 others combined both online and offline learning, and 19 others offered lessons online or via television.

As scheduled, 35 more localities will re-open schools on February 7 (after the Tết holiday), bringing the total to 49, while 14 others will do the same on February 12. — VNS

 

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