HCMC extends school closure in Covid-19 safety measure

By Manh Tung   April 18, 2020 | 09:30 am GMT+7
HCMC extends school closure in Covid-19 safety measure
Hiep Binh Phuoc Kindergarten in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, is temporarily closed to prevent Covid-19 infection. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung.
Over 1.7 million HCMC students will have their prolonged school break extended further until at least May 3 over Covid-19 safety considerations.

More than 135,000 students taking vocational training classes will also stay at home until this date.

The city has asked the Ministry of Education and Training to adjust some content related to the school year plan, the time to finish textbook selection for the new school year and the time to end the 2019-2020 school year.

This is the eighth time that Ho Chi Minh City has announced the extension of the school holidays to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The government has asked HCMC, Hanoi and 10 other provinces with high risk of spreading the virus to continue social distancing until April 22.

Since mid-March, the city has been running an online teaching program on TV for students in grade 9 and 12 to help them revise lessons for the national high school entrance and graduation exams.

For the remaining grades, the city has organized online learning classes using digital media and television to streamline the subjects.

At an April 10 government meeting, Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan had said that if the city continues to control the disease well, students can return to school in mid-May. Nhan also asked the Department of Education and Training to establish risk assessment criteria to ensure safety for students in case that there are still Covid-19 patients and the risk of infection in the city.

The closure of the school year has been pushed back to July 15 and the national high school exam to August 8-11, which is 1.5 months later than previous years.

Vietnamese students are typically given a two-week spring holiday and a three-month summer break. This is the first time in history that more than 22 million students in Vietnam have to take such a long break after the Lunar New Year due to a pandemic. The education ministry has had to cut short the curriculum and recognize online learning results.

At the moment, 13 provinces have extended the school closure for students, except Ca Mau, Vinh Long and Thai Binh provinces, which reopened classes for grade nine and high school students in April.

 
 
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