A health worker sprays disinfectants at Nguyễn Du High School in HCM City’s District 10. — VNA/VNS.Photo Thu Hương
HCM CITY — HCM City and six other provinces and cities are planning to reopen schools on March 1, according to the Ministry of Education and Training, after a two-week delay to the scheduled resumption when Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday ends mid-February.
Hà Nội could reopen schools on Tuesday (March 2) if the COVID-19 situation is under control (March 2 will be the date marking 14 days of no local infections), according to municipal authorities.
The HCM City People’s Committee on Wednesday approved the Department of Education and Training’s proposal to reopen on Monday since the recent COVID-19 outbreak has been well controlled.
The department said most parents want their children to go to school.
To prepare for the reopening, the administration has called for disinfecting schools and adopting preventive measures.
This week the department will ensure these tasks are undertaken at all schools.
It also has instructed schools to ensure their students follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: Khẩu trang (face mask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration).
Since February 2 the department has ordered schools to report about students with COVID-19, F1 people who come into contact with patients and F2 people who have close contact with F1. The parents of all students also need to fill out online health declarations for the latter.
As of February 19 one student had contracted the disease, 74 teachers and students were designated F1 and 361 teachers and students were F2.
Besides, 2,680 teachers and students returned to the city from COVID-19-hit areas around the country after Tết.
On February 1 the People’s Committee had instructed all relevant agencies and educational establishments to allow students to remain at home after the Tết holiday and study online until the end of this month.
Teachers at public primary schools make lessons and upload them on YouTube or the school website for students.
First and second graders are learning with their parents’ assistance.
Older children are taught on zoom and other software.
Speaking at a meeting between the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control and relevant ministries held on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngô Thị Minh said 51 provinces and cities had already reopened schools.
Seven provinces and cities, including Hải Dương, the COVID-19 epicenter, would reopen them on Monday while the remaining four have not announced the schedule, she said.
The education ministry has instructed authorities in all provinces and cities to strictly comply with measures to ensure safety and hygiene at schools and strengthen communication to reassure parents as their children return to school, she added.
Schools have been told to disinfect everything from the campus to tables, chairs and teaching devices, and have enough soaps and hand sanitizers for students.
Students should use their own water bottles and wear masks when going to school.
Schools should limit mass gathering and organise outdoor activities.
Many universities across the country will also have online classes until the end of this month.
Some such as the University of Information Technology under the Việt Nam National University- HCM City (VNUHCM) will begin their second semester on Monday but students will learn online until March 14. The first semester examination will be delayed until April.
The VNUHCM’s University of Science will hold this examination next month instead of this week as scheduled.
Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine has students will study online until March end. — VNS