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Nov 11, 2021 / 18:37

Around 1.3 million migrants return home during pandemic: Labor minister

Authorities at all levels should synchronize anti-pandemic solutions to facilitate businesses restoration and the return of migrant workers.

Some 1.3 million migrant workers returned to their hometowns between July and September under the Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung informed at an interpellation session at the ongoing National Assembly’s (NA) second sitting. 

At the ongoing meeting session of the National Assembly, some delegates shared their concern about the exodus of migrant workers from the southern key economic localities and raised questions on the implementation of relief packages for those affected by the pandemic.

Dung said that data released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) revealed of the 1.3 million workers, about 324,000 left Hanoi, 292,000 returned home from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and 450,000 from other southern localities.

He added that among 930,000 people aged 15 and over that returned to their hometown, about 34% have found jobs; 38% remain unemployed or failing to find a job under social distancing measures, while the rest did not go to work for pandemic fears.

 Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung speaks at an interpellation session at the ongoing National Assembly’s second sitting. Photo:

"It is now quite difficult to lure workers back to industrial hubs and big cities as they are unsure about the future. The priority is to eliminate the difficulties that the labor market is facing so that people can return to their workplaces,” Dung said.

"Authorities at all levels should synchronize anti-pandemic solutions to facilitate businesses restoration and the return of migrant workers," the minister added.

He stressed that the pandemic and prolonged social distancing measures have left significant impacts on the labor market, employment, and income in the third quarter.

Dung, however, noted after more than a month of safe and flexible adaptation, the situation has improved.

"Enterprises still face labor shortage but it is not serious. By the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, the labor market can return to normal if there are no complications,” Dung said.

The minister added that his ministry has submitted to the Government a program to restore and develop the labor market along with social security.

Minister of Education and Training stresses students’ safety amid pandemic

This is the first time Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son appeared at the NA. Son answered questions on measures to ensure the quality of teaching and learning, especially online schooling, and fundamental reforms in education and training during the pandemic.

 Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son. Photo:

Son also revealed plans to narrow the education gap between urban and rural areas, especially improving education quality in remote and mountainous regions, ensuring safety in schools, and organizing the national high school exam amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 pandemic has caused disturbances and seriously affected the education and training, Son said. Due to the pandemic, schools had to switch to online teaching, students were not allowed to go to school, and their study plans were turned upside down, he stressed.

"Over the past two years, about 22 million students nationwide have experienced class interruptions and had to switch to online learning due to the impacts of the pandemic," said the minister.

The 2021-2022 school year opened at a time when Vietnam got hit hardest by the fourth Covid-19 wave. While schools nationwide have resourced to remote learning, around 1.5 million students lack sufficient access to online schooling. TV learning has also met with challenges regarding equipment and signals.

Leaders of the education sector have considered many options to minimize the negative impact of the pandemic on education and training without affecting the quality, Son said.

For now, a program to call on citizens and businesses to support students, especially those in coronavirus-hit areas and those who lack the resources to study online, has been launched by the education ministry and Ministry of Information and Communication.

The program is expected to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic on the education field and alleviate challenges for students in learning, he added.

“I think the Covid-19 pandemic poses difficulties and challenges, but we also see this as an opportunity to innovate towards digital transformation,” the minister said.