All Hanoi students, except kindergartners, return to school

By Duong Tam, Thanh Hang   April 6, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
All Hanoi students, except kindergartners, return to school
Students hold up decorative pinwheels in class at the Thang Long primary school in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District, April 6, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Around a million Hanoi students from first to sixth grades returned to school Wednesday morning after spending a year studying online.

Nguyen Tram Anh, a third grader living in Nam Tu Liem District, prepared her books and notes Tuesday night to return to class on Wednesday. Before going to bed, she tried on some clothes and picked out her best ribbons, eager to see her friends.

Her mother brought Tram Anh to school at 7 a.m. and seeing the school full of people brought springs to the girl's steps. After saying goodbye, Tram Anh had her temperature checked and was guided to class by a teacher.

Wednesday is the first day of the 2021-2022 school year for around a million students from first to sixth grades in Hanoi, with many first graders attending school for the first time.

At the Nguyen Binh Khiem primary, secondary and high school in Cau Giay District, teachers gathered at the school gates to welcome students and lead them to their classrooms. There's a separate area in front to receive primary school students.

Khanh Chi, a first grader, was a bit worried to attend school for the first time. But with the teachers' guidance, her worries made way for excitement.

"I am glad to be able to study in-person. I'm also excited to see my friends," she said.

Nguyen Van Trang, a sixth grader, had no problem with navigating the school and making new friends. But he was surprised to see all the new equipment and infrastructure at school for Covid-19 prevention.

"Everything made me reassured and comfortable to study and interact with teachers and friends," Trang said.

The founder of Nguyen Binh Khiem School, 78-year-old Nguyen Van Hoa, had been waiting at the school gates since 6:30 a.m. to welcome his students.

"It's been a long time since the school was this crowded. Even when everyone was wearing masks, I could still feel the excitement and happiness among teachers, parents and students," Hoa said, adding that the return to school would help improve students' mental health after a year of studying online.

At the Hoang Dieu primary school in Ba Dinh District, traffic along Doi Can Street near the school had been jammed since 7 a.m. The school prepared a parking space right within the school yard for parents. Teachers will be in charge of guiding students to class.

Nguyen Diep Anh, headmistress of the Hoang Dieu primary school, said first graders would spend their first day in class getting to know their teachers and be instructed on the books and notes to be used for their studies. In the coming days, students will both study and interact with friends and school staff, she added.

At the Thang Long primary school in Hoan Kiem District, first graders gathered at the school at around 8 a.m., a bit later than other grades. Headmistress Nguyen Thi Binh Minh said the school would not teach first graders on their first day, but let them become accustomed to the school first.

At the Khuong Thuong primary school in Dong Da District, parents led lead their children directly to their classrooms.

"We want parents to know their kids' classrooms, and reassure students by letting their parents accompany them," said headmistress Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha.

Hanoi's 660,000 students from seventh to 12th grades had already returned to school since Feb. 8, with ninth graders in certain outer districts already back in class since November last year. They are all fully vaccinated.

With the return of students from first to sixth grade, only kindergartners remain at home in Hanoi.

Students at the Thang Long primary school in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District are welcomed at the school gates, April 6, 2022. Video by VnExpress/Giang Huy

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