HCMC to let private schools reopen first

By Manh Tung   September 10, 2021 | 05:30 pm PT
HCMC to let private schools reopen first
A math teacher at Nguyen Du High School in HCMC teaches an online class at the school in February, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung
Since no private school has been used as a Covid-19 quarantine or treatment facility, HCMC will have them reopen first as it mulls allowing students back to classes.

The municipal Education and Training Department suggested Thursday that the plan to reopen schools should give priority to kindergartens, first and second grades as it is hard for those children to learn online; and to those in senior years at high schools and secondary schools.

Students should be divided into smaller classes to ensure social distancing and attend just one shift in the morning or afternoon instead of staying at school all day, the department has said.

Priority in the reopening plan will be given to private schools, because unlike public schools, their facilities have not been used in the city's Covid-19 fight.

During the latest outbreak in the city, more than a few schools have been used as centralized quarantine camps as well as venues for mass testing and mass vaccination campaigns.

For now, districts that have basically put the epidemic situation under control will make specific plans for having students back in classes.

However, parents and students themselves will have the final say on whether or not to return to classes. In case they decide not to return, they can continue studying online.

Teachers showing up in classes must have got two Covid-19 vaccine doses, with the second dose injected at least two weeks before they begin to take classes.

Those who could not meet this requirement must continue to stay at home and teach online.

HCMC, the epicenter of Vietnam's fourth Covid-19 wave, is also considering a "vaccine green pass" scheme that would allow the reopening of businesses and services after Sept. 15.

The city has recorded 286,242 patients and 11,472 deaths so far in the latest Covid-19 wave that broke out late April.

Since late May, it has undergone different levels of social distancing campaigns and has currently imposed the strictest order yet, requiring every resident to "stay where they are."

More than 1.3 million students from primary to high schools in the city have been learning online since a new school year started early September. Around 340,000 preschool children have yet to attend as planned.

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