Many localities in Vietnam allow students back to school
Online learning will continue to be a support tool for students even after schools reopen.
A total of 23 provinces and cities across Vietnam have allowed students to return to school, according to the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET).
These localities are mainly in the North where no Covid-19 cases have been confirmed or the pandemic has been contained.
In the northern province of Bac Giang, once a coronavirus hotspot, the new school year began on September 6 and will end on May 25 next year in line with the MoET’s plan.
In May, Bac Giang was Vietnam’s coronavirus epicenter but now only a handful of cases are reported each day and 99.8% of Covid-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals. The province has also administered vaccines to 18% of its population.
Under the MoET’s guidelines, each locality can formulate its own agenda, which suits the actual situation but the key dates should not be 15 days later than the ones stipulated in the general plan.
In provinces and cities where strict social distancing measures are still in place, like the capital city of Hanoi, students still attend online schooling and are expected to finish their school year in June next year.
The Hanoi Department of Education and Training has prepared scenarios for school reopening. However, the city’s authorities are still cautious about the exact time when students return to school which is pending the evolution of Covid-19 in the city.
Students at Huy Van Secondary School in Hanoi back to school after the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Photo: Tran Long
Eight localities are offering both in-person and online classes to students, including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dak Lak, Lang Son, Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Quang Nam, Son La, and Khanh Hoa.
Another 31 Southern cities and provinces are combining both online and television teaching, including An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Binh Duong, Can Tho, Phu Yen, among others.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has emphasized safety for students as the first requirement when reopening schools.
He made the instruction at yesterday’s meeting with the MoET on the progress of the 2021-2022 school year.
Dam asked the ministry to put forth plans and solutions to conclude the 2021-2022 school year in a flexible manner depending on the situation.
A teacher of Dong Da Secondary School in Hanoi measures body temperature for students. Photo: Quang Tan
In the long run, Dam urged the MoET to instruct departments of education and training in localities and educational institutions to improve infrastructure, especially in remote and far-flung areas, ensuring internet access and other requirements for online schooling in the pandemic context.
The deputy PM also asked the ministry to organize the vaccination for students in target age groups in an early and safe manner. The ministry should also strengthen the school health care system to ensure safety for students at schools.
For his part, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said the ending date for the 2021-2022 academic year is not fixed, and localities hit by the pandemic are allowed to conclude the year later than scheduled, Son added.
Online learning should continue to be a support tool for students to develop their skills even after schools reopen, according to the official.
Regarding Covid-19 vaccination for students aged from 12 to 17, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said his ministry will strive to give the two shots to 95% of the 8.1 million children of the age group in the fourth quarter of 2021.
It is also counting the number of children from 3 to 11 years old while seeking access to vaccine sources and consulting experts and scientists on vaccination for the group, Tuyen added.
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