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HCMC set to reopen schools in outlying districts

By Manh Tung   November 16, 2021 | 04:46 pm PT
HCMC set to reopen schools in outlying districts
A student undergoes health screening before being vaccinated against Covid-19 at the Cu Chi High School in HCMC, October 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai Tuesday proposed the reopening of schools in “safer” areas of Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts on the outskirts.

Several schools in the city’s Can Gio District have already opened classes for 1st, 2nd, 6th and 9th graders on a trial basis, Mai noted; and asked that Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts should consider plans to let students return to school in communes with low and medium coronavirus risks.

"Outskirts communes would find it easier to do so than downtown wards, as teachers and students mostly stay within the same areas, and there would not be much traveling involved," he said.

Hoc Mon currently has around 110,000 students while Cu Chi has around 91,000, according to the Department of Education and Training.

The city has already asked its health and education departments to prepare for the reopening of schools; and a plan is expected to be completed this week.

However, Mai also acknowledged that reopening schools could be difficult, especially for a city like Ho Chi Minh City with around 1.7 million students.

But online studying is likely to create its own problems in the long run, with many students lacking the necessary equipment to study effectively, or suffering from health impacts due to long time periods spent staring at screens, he noted.

Previously, HCMC had planned to resume on-site classes in areas with low or medium coronavirus risks starting December 10. Implementing the plan would depend on the novel coronavirus situation in each area.

The HCMC People’s Committee will have the final say in determining when students could return to school.

According to the municipal health department, as of November 12, HCMC has 10 districts classified at low coronavirus risks, and 11 others at medium coronavirus risks.

Only one district, Can Gio, is determined as being at high coronavirus risks.

The district was classified as low risk when it reopened some schools on a trial basis, but infections increased after industrial parks reopened. The decision to reopen schools on a trial basis was also taken because they are on an island commune with not much contact with the rest of the city.

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