|The Tân Thành Primary-Secondary School in Long An Province is ready for the upcoming academic year. — VNA/VNS Photo Đức Hạnh|
HCM CITY — More than 50 provinces and cities nationwide have announced schedules for the new school year and prepared scenarios to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HCM City Department of Education and Training has submitted a plan with two scenarios to the People’s Committee for the opening ceremony for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
Each primary, secondary and high school in the city has 1,000-4,000 students, so social distancing cannot be carried out, if required. A full opening ceremony in which everyone attends would be impractical.
Instead, an alternative plan calls for 10 to 20 students to act as representatives for each classroom. But all first, sixth and 10th graders would attend the ceremony under this scenario.
The ceremony would last nearly 60 minutes. As scheduled, it will be organised on September 5. The new school year will start on September 7 and end in late May.
Hà Ngọc Tuấn Huy, rector of Lạc Long Quân Secondary School in Bình Tân District, told Việt Nam News Agency that the school would ensure facilities and safety for students.
Besides disinfecting facilities, the school has prepared devices to check body temperature of its students. All students must wash their hands before entering classrooms. Table surfaces and door handles will be cleaned regularly.
If the city decides to impose social distancing, each classroom will have only about 20 students.
The north central province of Nghệ An’s Department of Education and Training said that because the province has not recorded any COVID-19 incidence, the opening ceremony will still be organised on September 5, with 800,000 students.
The department will instruct educational divisions and schools to ensure safety for students. When they attend the ceremony, they will have to wear masks, wash their hands, and fill out health declarations.
If any student has symptoms such as cough and fever, their health will be checked.
In the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ, students will also attend the opening ceremony on September 5. Those at continuing education centres will organise the ceremony on September 7.
The Department of Education and Training in southern Đồng Nai will carry out online teaching and extend the school year to complete the training programme if COVID-19 complications continue.
Trần Hưng Đạo Secondary School in the province, for instance, plans to teach its students more skills online if it is necessary to carry out social distancing.
In the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, the opening ceremony will be held on September 5, but it is waiting for the last instruction from the Ministry of Education and Training.
The department will co-operate with the health sector to disinfect schools before the ceremony.
Other provinces such as Bình Thuận and Quảng Trị plan to organise an online opening ceremony if there is another COVID-19 outbreak.
Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam do not plan to organise an opening ceremony, and the new school year could begin later because these areas are the epicentre for COVID-19 now.
The Ministry of Education and Training has instructed educational departments in provinces and cities to strictly comply with regulations about the opening ceremony to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control.
For provinces and cities carrying out social distancing, schools will hold an online opening ceremony.
Schools should also organise activities related to teaching and learning in the beginning of the new school year to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control.
The ministry has required provinces and cities to review the number of schools, teaching equipment and teachers, especially those for the first grade, for the new school year.
Textbooks should be provided for all students, the ministry said.
To prepare for the upcoming school year, HCM City will put 1,371 new classrooms into use.
The Mekong Delta province of Long An has built more new schools and supplemented teaching devices and equipment for the 2020-2021 school year. The province has allocated total capital of VNĐ64.9 billion (US$2.8 million) to build 13 schools.
In the province’s Bến Lức District, Lương Bình and Thuận Đạo primary schools will be put into use in the upcoming school year. Bến Lức Town Primary School and the Bến Lức Town Secondary School are under construction. The Bến Lức Town Primary School is expected to open next year and the others in the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
Schools in Đồng Nai Province are ready for the new academic year. The Department of Education and Training has completed training courses for teachers at 300 primary schools.
The People’s Committee in the province’s Vĩnh Cửu District has allocated more than VNĐ10 billion (US$431,230) to buy equipment to teach first graders under the new training programme.
Bình Dương Province’s Thủ Dầu Một City has upgraded 11 schools. Thuận An City has allocated VNĐ10 billion to repair schools, which is expected to be completed by August 30. Thuận An City has four new schools, including Hoa Cúc 10 Kindergarten, An Thạnh Primary School, Thuận Giao Secondary School and Trịnh Hoài Đức High School.
Since the end of last year, Bàu Bàng rural district has repaired 16 schools, which are slated to open for the 2020-2021 academic year. — VNS