HCMC extends school closure as coronavirus fight intensifies

By Manh Tung   March 29, 2020 | 02:35 am PT
HCMC extends school closure as coronavirus fight intensifies
A college student leaving Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City's dorm on March 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Over 1.7 million students in HCMC have seen their prolonged school break extended to April 19 over the coronavirus crisis under a city decision issued Sunday.

More than 135,000 students taking vocational training classes in secondary schools and colleges will stay home until May 3, according to the municipal People's Committee.

Local authorities have been tasked with ensuring that monitoring and tutoring schools, foreign language academies and life skills teaching facilities do not function during this time.

The municipal departments of Health, Education and Training, and Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will assess the situation and make recommendations on the reopening of educational institutions based on developments in the Covid-19 crisis.

Ho Chi Minh City Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the city has been implementing a television teaching program for students in grades 9-12, helping them prepare for the upcoming national high school exams. The city has also introduced digital resources for other students to access online.

In the ongoing 2019-2020 school year, there are more than 22 million students nationwide from preschool to high school.

Vietnamese students are often given a two-week spring holiday and a three-month summer break. This is the first time that 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.

Under HCMC administration's previous decision, the city's over 1.7 million students would stay home until April 5.

Students in other cities and provinces have remained on school break until further notice.

Vietnam's Covid-19 infection tally has risen to 179, with 21 cases having recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 30,800 people in 199 countries and territories.

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