|Two siblings in Hà Nội attend online classes. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — By Tuesday morning (February 16), 23 provinces and cities across Việt Nam have decided to halt resumption of in-person learning due on Wednesday after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday over community COVID-19 outbreaks.
Most opted to delay classes for about a week and students are expected return to schools next Monday in Bình Phước, Thanh Hoá, Bến Tre, Điện Biên, An Giang, Hà Nam, and Bắc Ninh provinces, while many others – including Hải Phòng City, Cần Thơ, Ninh Thuận, Đồng Tháp provinces – said schools are closed pending further notice.
Three localities where the outbreaks are more serious – Hà Nội, HCM City, and the Central Highlands Province of Kon Tum – have announced schools would not reopen until the end of February. Schools in Hà Nội and HCM City have been closed since February 1, a week ahead of the planned break for Tết, due to a fresh wave of local infections hitting the country since January 27, 2021.
The northern province of Hải Dương – the current epicentre of the country’s community infection wave with over 500 cases recorded since January 27, involving a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus first reported in the UK – is slated to resume classes after the 15-day ‘social distancing order’ effective from February 16 expires on March 3.
However, schools and universities/colleges are ordered to continue offering lessons online where applicable, in line with the curriculum.
Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, also after the Tết holiday ended, in-person learning was halted for more than 22 million students across the country – from kindergarten to university/college level – for about two months until the national lockdown order was lifted at the end of April. — VNS