Hanoi, Saigon prolong school closure as coronavirus plays havoc

By Manh Tung, Vo Hai   March 13, 2020 | 12:01 am PT
Hanoi, Saigon prolong school closure as coronavirus plays havoc
A student of iSchool in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province, has his body temperature checked as he returns to class on March 2, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Around 1.7 million Saigon students will stay home until April 5, while Hanoi schools will only reopen around March 23 or 30.

High school students - 10th to 12th graders - in Hanoi will stay home until March 22 and younger students for another week.

Twelve graders across the country are facing pressure to catch up with their studies ahead of graduation exam, which has been pushed back two months to August.

High school seniors in 59 provinces and cities across the country resumed classes on March 2 after a break of over a month, owing to fears over the spreading coronavirus.

The country’s two largest metropolises Hanoi and HCMC, Tien Giang Province in the south and Thai Binh Province in the north are the only four localities in the country to have students at all levels stay away from classes until March 8 or 15.

But 28 new coronavirus cases over the past week, including five in Hanoi and one in HCMC, have led to change of plans.

Hanoi and HCMC, with around four million students from kindergarten to high school, are among 29 localities in the country to extend school closure until the end of this month or until further notice.

Vietnamese students are often given a two-week spring holiday and a three-month summer break. This is the first time more than 22 million students nationwide have had such a long spring break, forcing several schools to switch to online teaching to help students keep up to date.

The Covid-19 outbreak has spread to 128 countries and territories around the world, killing over 5,000 people.

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