Schools learn to adapt as COVID cases rise among students

March, 09/2022 - 08:04

As more COVID-19 cases are detected among school children, education institutions in HCM City are taking measures to adapt and prepare for the upcoming end-semester exams.

Children at elementary schools and kindergarteners in HCM were allowed back to school on February 14. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Giang

HCM CITY — As more COVID-19 cases are detected among school children, education institutions in HCM City are taking measures to adapt and prepare for the upcoming end-semester exams.

Parents, worried about their child's safety, are welcoming the move, even though in some cases it means a return to online learning.

Thanh, whose child is a pupil at Nguyễn Hiền Elementary School in Thủ Đức City, said online classes began last week.

The schedule now only consists of the few main subjects, which are Mathematics, Vietnamese and English.

Thanh said that when COVID-19 cases started to break out among students during their first week of returning to school, parents and teachers discussed holding online classes in the evening.

However, many families agreed to let their children take the full day off, as the young students are already very tired when they catch the virus.

“Even if they have to take the whole week off, it is not much of a big deal,” said Thanh.

As COVID-19 cases are increasing among students, many schools have been struggling to continue in-person learning.

In Bình Thạnh District, one elementary school decided to have a flexible class schedule, according to the situation each day.

The vice principal said: “Last week we had a class of 46 students, among which five were infected with the virus.

“Although the number of close contacts is very low, parents take caution and let their children stay at home. And so only half the class is studying at school.

“Then we will talk to parents to decide whether to continue in-person classes or to completely switch to online.”

Nguyễn Thị Định Elementary School in District 7 also opted to a flexibly change between online and in-person classes when new infections were detected among students, said its vice principal Hoàng Thụy Bích Thủy.

Thủy said: “The switch is based on the number of cases and close contacts detected in a class.

“If the number is high, teachers will send out exercises and instruction videos like before when the children were studying online.

“If the number is low, teachers will livestream the class, and will send out exercises if there is any issue with the internet connection.”

According to Phạm Thúy Hà, deputy head of the Education and Training Division in District 4 said that this week is the end semester exam for primary school children.

Therefore, schools have had to prepare for multiple scenarios in order to hold the exams when COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

Hà said: “The aim for Grade 1 and 2 is to have students sit the final exams in-person.

“And so in the case where infected students and their close contacts are not able to take the test with everybody else, the school will conduct an additional exam for them when they return.”

To ease the load for teachers when they have to teach both online and in-person, schools have decided to compile the key learning points and give online lessons in two or three evening classes each week, which means that students at home do not have to study online every day.

A total of 51,000 quick test kits have also been distributed to Education and Training Divisions in HCM City and its Thủ Đức City. 

According to the official document from the HCM City Department of Education and Training, each school will receive a box of 20 quick test kits, which will be restocked when used up. — VNS