Covid pushes back new school year in Vietnam

By Duong Tam, Thanh Hang   August 12, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
Covid pushes back new school year in Vietnam
Students during break time at a school in the northern Bac Giang Province, January 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam.
As the ongoing Covid-19 wave grows ever complex, many localities have decided to have students start their new academic year later than usual.

Vietnamese schools normally welcome back students in mid-August after a three-month summer break, before an official ceremony is held on September 5.

By Thursday, only 19 out of 63 localities in Vietnam had issued plans to start the new school year of 2021-2022.

Among them is Binh Duong Province that borders Ho Chi Minh City.

Currently the second-worst hit locality after the southern metropolis, Binh Duong has decided to have students of all grades start their new school year on Sept. 1.

However, the province said students might have to study online for the first two months as for now, some schools are still used as Covid-19 centralized quarantine facilities.

An Giang Province in Mekong Delta will have first graders start school on Aug. 30 and the rest on Sept. 1.

For now, the delta with 13 localities is also severely affected by the ongoing wave.

The remaining 17 localities with plans for the upcoming school year are the northern provinces of Son La, Phu Tho, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Hung Yen, Hoa Binh, Lao Cai, Ha Nam and Dien Bien; central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Gia Lai; and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province that borders HCMC.

Son La is the one that will have students end their summer break the earliest.

Starting Aug. 16, all students in the province will return to school except for kindergarteners, who will go to school on Sept. 1.

Others on the list will have their students go to school on Sept. 1, although some will have first graders start school on Aug. 23 or 25.

Currently, many localities, especially those imposing the strictest social distancing measures in line with Directive 16, which does not allow gatherings of more than two people in public and requires people to only leave home for essential purposes, including HCMC and Hanoi, have yet to come up with plans for the new school year.

The Ministry of Education and Training on Aug. 4 issued a framework for the 2021-2022 school year for provinces and cities to build their own appropriate plans.

Students at all levels will return to school on Sept. 1 at the earliest, with the timeline being Aug. 23 for first graders.

The head of the People's Committee in each locality would decide the time for students to resume schooling, though the date should differ no more than 15 days from the ministry's.

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