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Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

By Quynh Tran   February 14, 2022 | 05:35 am PT
Around 200,000 kindergartners returned to school in HCMC Monday morning, with many thrilled and others showing they were not ready to leave the comfort of home just yet.
Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

At the May 19 Kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, parents began bringing kids to school from 7 a.m. Teachers stood on both sides of the gates to greet them.

"The kindergarten has 18 classes with 650 students, but only half of them return to school today. A few days ago, teachers cleaned up the area and discussed the return with parents to ascertain their thoughts and feelings," said Ho Thu Thao, principal of the school.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

In the first week of their return, kindergartners would not have their breakfast prepared by the school. Three-year-old Nam is fed by his mother before class.

"After a long time staying of at home, he is excited to go to class and see his friends. I also woke up earlier than usual to prepare his breakfast," his mother said.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

A mother takes a selfie with four-year-old son, Duy Thien, on his first day to school after the Covid provided shutdown.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

Many kids cried loudly upon returning to school, having spent over nine months at home.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

With the kindergarten returnees including 3 year olds, teachers had to spend time to comfort some of them because they were not yet used to the new environment.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

Kids in the 4-5 age group were more enthusiastic about returning to school.

Phuc Lam gives his father a high-five as he returns to class.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

Tran Thi Ngoc Thi of District 1 stands by a classroom window to take a photo of her 4-year-old son in class.

"My husband and I have three children, all in kindergarten. For nearly a year, they didn't get to go to school, so it was tough looking after them together. The kids were also sad as they didn't get to spend much time interacting with their peers," she said.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

In a class for five-year-olds, teacher Tran Thi Phi Hoang decorates a board to welcome her students back.

"I'm glad to be able to teach them again. Letting them go to school now is appropriate as the virus has been put under control and people have had wide vaccination coverage," she said.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

Teachers said that for the first few days, they would help kids get used to each other, play games and teach lessons on disease prevention and proper hygiene.

Laughter, tears as HCMC kindergartners return to school

So far, most of the 1.7 million students in HCMC, from kindergartners to high school students, have returned to school.

Children under 3 will get their return date after authorities finish assessing reopening impacts and drawing lessons.

 
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