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HCMC schools prepare to welcome back over 600,000 students

By Manh Tung   January 3, 2022 | 04:31 am PT
HCMC schools prepare to welcome back over 600,000 students
Grade 12 students attend class at Trung Vuong High School, HCMC's District 1, in December 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung
HCMC schools have increased staff and medical supplies as around 680,000 students of grades 7, 8, 10, and 11 prepare to resume in-person classes after New Year holiday.

After 9th and 12th grade students, the afore mentioned grades will head back to the classroom Tuesday after eight months of remote learning.

Middle and high schools have made necessary preparations to welcome back the students.

Nguyen Van Linh High School in District 8 will let 1,300 students in three grades study in 26 classes. Principal Kim Nguyen Quynh Giao said the school won't separate classes into smaller groups. The school has four reserve rooms and one isolation room in case a Covid patient is detected. The school has purchased more temperature monitors and increased personnel to control student entry and exit.

"In the first week, students in grades 10 and 11 will revisit the materials they have learned online and prepare for the first semester exam from Jan. 10-22," she said.

Giao said that what she worries about the most is scheduling and finding personnel.

"During the in-person learning period, if a teacher unfortunately tests positive for Covid, the school would assign a substitute, ensuring the learning process will carry on normally."

Since the beginning of the pandemic until now, the school has had 10 teachers and staff members who got infected and recovered.

The school has also thought of different schedule options in case the Covid situation in Ho Chi Minh City grew worse so student learning would not be disturbed.

Nguyen Thi Minh Khai High School in District 3 will provide epidemic prevention and control training for 10th and 11th grade students on their first day back in class.

The school will let 10th graders study in person in the morning while 11th graders take online classes before switching about in the afternoon.

At Nguyen Du High School, District 10, over 1,500 returning students will be divided into two face-to-face class shifts.

In the morning, grade 12 and half of grade 10 would attend class, while the other half of grade 10 and grade 11 learn online. They will switch schedule in the afternoon.

On Dec. 31, students of grades 10 and 11 went to school for anti-pandemic training and to learn about their study plans before their first lesson Tuesday.

Schools with large campuses and many classrooms would separate students. This is to ensure the best safety for students, and to give parents peace of mind.

For instance, Le Van Huu Secondary School, in Nha Be District, splits classes and arranges 8th and 9th graders to study in the morning, while letting 7th graders attend in the afternoon.

Principal Duong Cong Ly said the school will have separate online classes for each grade, serving students who cannot attend school.

From Jan. 4 to 10, the school will focus on preparing students for the upcoming first semester exams.

"After the first few weeks, if the situation stabilizes, the school would increase the number of in-person classes so learning could resume normally."

With spacious facilities, Thanh An Primary School and Thanh An Middle School - High School will let all students in grades 1-12 go back to school after Tuesday.

"Our school has 288 students of seven grades. There are no Covid cases among students and teachers here. All anti-pandemic plans will be implemented if needed," said Nguyen Bao Ngoc, principal of Thanh An Middle School - High School.

According to the city's Department of Education and Training, middle and high schools would recommence class starting Tuesday.

The number of in-person classes should not exceed 50 percent of the total number of students. For semi-boarding schools, class hours should not exceed eight hours per day.

The department encourages schools to use flexible timetables, combining face-to-face and online teaching.

Around 150,000 9th and 12th graders in the city returned to school on Dec. 13.

During the three-week pilot period since, 478 middle and high schools achieved an attendance rate exceeding 96 percent. More than 50 schools have not yet organized offline teaching, mainly in Cu Chi District and some non-public schools.

A survey by the municipal Education Department found 60-80 percent of parents have agreed with the plan to have more secondary and high-school students back in school.

The city has vaccinated more than 709,000 children aged 12-17 with at least one dose and covered 85.5 percent of them with the second dose.

 
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