Two HCMC schools delay reopening by a week

By Manh Tung   October 1, 2021 | 12:07 am PT
Two HCMC schools delay reopening by a week
High-school students after school in Thanh An Commune, HCMC's Can Gio District, April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
A total 243 primary and secondary school students in HCMC’s Can Gio District will attend school on Oct. 11, a week later than planned.

The decision was made by Can Gio authorities and the city Department of Education and Training, Nguyen Ngoc Xuan, the district deputy chairman, said Friday.

Thanh An Primary School and Thanh An Secondary – High School on Thanh An Island Commune need more time to ensure all criteria on Covid-19 prevention are met before reopening their doors to students.

"The district also needs some time to assess the pandemic situation now the city has eased Covid-19 restrictions and test all teachers and students before having them return to class," said Xuan.

He said Can Gio has been evaluated as having "basically contained the pandemic" since early September.

Thanh An Commune in particular has not recorded any new community cases since Sept. 12.

The commune meets requirements to reopen in-person classes, including having less than 30 students in one class, which would ensure social distancing, with all students living on the island and most teachers fully vaccinated.

Parents have also agreed to send their children back to school.

Can Gio submitted the plan to reopen both schools in Thanh An to the HCMC Education and Training Department last Wednesday.

As planned, Thanh An Primary School would have 112 students of four classes while Thanh An Secondary-High School will resume five classes with 131 students.

All students will have to wear masks at school and their seats in class arranged to ensure a safe distance among them.

Duong Tri Dung, the education department’s deputy director, said both schools should build and rehearse a response plan for a scenario in which a Covid-19 case is detected.

Once the plan is implemented, the two schools would be the first in HCMC to have students return to class for the 2021-2022 school year.

Previously, the education department had sent the municipal People’s Committee a plan to reopen schools in districts deemed "safe" amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Kindergartens, along with first and second grade classes would be prioritized to reopen, followed by 9th and 12th grade classes, prior to the rest. Classes would be divided throughout the day to prevent large gatherings.

However, it was announced Thursday in a plan to gradually reopen HCMC that all schools would continue online tuition.

In the ongoing Covid-19 wave that hit Vietnam late April, HCMC remains the epicenter with 388,659 infections, accounting for almost half of the national tally.

By Friday, it had spent more than 100 days under various levels of social distancing.

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