Saigon students back in school next week after prolonged Covid-19 break

By Manh Tung, Phan Anh   April 28, 2020 | 02:05 am PT
Saigon students back in school next week after prolonged Covid-19 break
Ninth graders wait in their school yard before an examination in HCMC, June 2, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
Over 1.7 million HCMC students will resume school from Monday after a three-and-a-half month break, and Hanoi has similar reopening plans.

However, schools would assemble their students in a scattered manner according to grades, the Ho Chi Minh City administration said Tuesday.

Over 87,000 ninth-graders who are about to take their high school entrance exams, and over 63,000 12th-graders who need to take their high school graduation exams will go back to school on Monday and start normal classes the next day.

Students from fourth to eighth grades, and 10th and 11th graders, will gather at school on May 8 and start classes from May 11.

Those from first to third grades will gather at school on May 11 and start classes the next day.

Kindergarten classes will reopen between May 18 and June 1.

High school students and students of regular education and vocational training centers in HCMC would be provided three masks per month for a total of three months when they start classes again. Over 135,000 students are at the city's colleges and vocational training centers.

Meanwhile, the capital city's secondary and high school students are also likely to return to school on May 4, Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said at a meeting with the Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 Monday.

The return-to-school date will be decided Wednesday, he added.

Vietnamese students are typically given a two-week spring holiday and a three-month summer break. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, over 22 million students have been on a prolonged school break following the Lunar New Year holiday in late January. This is the first time in history that Vietnamese students have had to take such a long spring break due to a pandemic.

In response, students and teachers have taken part in online lessons, the Ministry of Education and Training has cut short the year’s curriculum and recognized online learning results.

With HCMC, 60 out of 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam have decided when their schools would reopen, with most choosing dates between late April and early May. Hanoi and Ha Giang in the north and Ben Tre in the south are the three localities who have not announced their school resumption plans.

Vietnam eased social distancing restrictions from April 23, but people are still required to wear face masks and maintain minimum distance of one meter from each other in public places. Gatherings of more than 30 people in public places are forbidden.

Vietnam has confirmed 270 Covid-19 cases so far, of which 48 are active, including three in HCMC. The last recorded cases were four days ago, and there has been no community transmission since April 16.

The pandemic has spread to 210 countries and territories and its reported death toll has crossed 211,900.

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