31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Nov 01, 2021 / 21:33

Hanoi students in suburban districts to come back to schools next week

Allowing students to return to schools was a legitimate desire of both parents and teachers.

The Hanoi People’s Committee has decided to allow students of the fifth, sixth, ninth, tenth and twelfth grades living in 18 pandemic-free districts labeled "green zones" to return to school from November 8.

There is still no specific plan for students in urban areas to resume in-person schooling.

To ensure safety for students, classes have been disinfected, antiseptic solutions and electronic thermometers have been made available, and teachers have been trained to handle students showing Covid-19 symptoms.

Following pandemic control measures leaves a double burden for teachers as they need to ensure a safe distance among students, a class would be divided into including the morning and afternoon shifts.

“I want to go out and meet friends at cafes when the social distancing measures are lifted and I believe that my children also have the same desire. Children have had to stay at home for a longer time than adults. It’s necessary to allow them to go to school, especially ninth graders and high school students,” Nguyen Thanh Nga, a mother of a ninth-grade girl in Cau Giay District, told The Hanoi Times.


 Students at Le Quy Don Secondary School in Hanoi keep a distance of 2 meters apart before entering the school. Photo: Van Trong/ The Hanoi Times

Nevertheless, the education sector still needed to contemplate before deciding the timing of the reopening to ensure safety, Cuong said.

Dang Truong Giang in Nam Tu Liem District said he wants his children to go back to school as soon as possible.

“I wish my elder child, a tenth grader, to go back to school soon, and the other, a sixth grader, as well,” he said, adding that his children lost concentration during online lessons, which he thinks is a serious problem.

“My son is busy chatting with friends all day, but lazy to talk with parents. He needs to go to school and interact with teachers and classmates,” Giang told The Hanoi Times.

However, experts also have different viewpoints about reopening school. Nguyen Lan Hieu, director of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, told media that online teaching should continue as the vaccination plan for children is still underway and has not finished yet.

“For high school students, schools should reopen only after the vaccination campaign ends. Secondary schoolchildren should return to school when 60-70% of them are vaccinated,” Hieu said.


HCMC proposes resuming offline schooling in December


A student receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in HCMC. Photo: Thao Quyen


The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training has brought forward a plan to reopen in-person classes for ninth and twelfth graders from December as the southern city is deploying a Covid-19 vaccination campaign for local children.

Director of the education department Nguyen Van Hieu proposed that only ninth and twelfth graders who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to return to schools next month.

In his remarks, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc said that local authorities will ensure school campuses safe enough to welcome back students aged 12 to 17.

Since the outbreak flared up in late April, HCMC has become the epicenter of the pandemic with over 429,000 local cases. Schools across the city have been closed since early May, switching to online learning.

Hanoi expected to fully vaccinate 95% of adolescents aged 12-17 from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, prioritizing areas with outbreaks, the municipal People’s Committee said Monday [Nov 1].

The exact date for vaccination would depend on the Ministry of Health’s vaccine distribution for Hanoi, the Committee said, adding that the city could vaccinate those aged below 12 too if vaccines are made available.

Vaccines would be prioritized for districts with new cases, high population density, among other factors, the Committee noted.

The Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) has listed around 680,000-850,000 children eligible for vaccination. The inoculation would be conducted at schools or at health facilities.

Vietnam’s health ministry has approved two types of Covid-19 vaccines namely Pfizer and Moderna that could be used for children vaccination.

So far, more than 82 million doses have been administered, including 24.5 million have been fully vaccinated.