The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Ministry of Health (MoH) together with municipal and provincial authorities are determined to re-open schools no later than February 14.
|Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said that the return of students to school after Tet holidays is completely grounded and possible. VNA/VNS Photo|
During a meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam in Hanoi on Monday, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngo Thi Minh said 14 localities nationwide have so far allowed in-person learning, 30 others combined both online and offline learning, and 19 others offered lessons online or via television.
On February 7 after Tet holidays, 35 more localities will re-open schools, bringing the total to 49 while 14 others will do the same on February 12.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said that the return of students to school is completely grounded and possible, based on high vaccination rates and the low number of severe cases and low mortality.
“The Ministry of Health is basically in favour of the plan to send children back to school after the Lunar New Year.
“However, during the Tet holiday, we need to remain vigilant and closely monitor the developments of the disease, especially the Omicron variant,”
He added that after the Lunar New Year, the Ministry of Health will specifically assess the pandemic situation to give suggestions to the Ministry of Education and Training on the plan to get children back to school.
At the meeting, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet also suggested resuming tourism activities from May 1.
Under a pilot plan to welcome foreign tourists in the first stage from November 2021, as many as 8,500 visitors, mostly from Russia, the Republic of Korea and Singapore, had arrived by January 23.
Agreeing with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST)’s proposal to reboot tourism activities from May 1, Deputy Minister of Health Son said the Health Ministry issued the Decision No.5772/QD-BYT on the process of issuing vaccine passports but it still needs input from the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to control the entry of the Omicron variant to Vietnam.
Discussions at the meeting suggested the MoH issue a new guideline on the level of the pandemic so that localities could adopt suitable measures when schools or tourism activities resume.
Others said children aged 5-11 should be allowed to go to school without conditions on vaccination. The MoET and MoH should direct localities to prepare for plans to deal with infections at schools.
Representatives from ministries and agencies proposed arranging more flights to carry overseas Vietnamese home in line with pandemic prevention and control regulations.
The MoCST was also urged to actively expand the pilot scheme to welcome foreigners if conditions allow, including extending their stay or taking them to areas where residents have been given the third vaccine shots.
7th to 12th graders in Hanoi to return to school on February 8
Students from grades 7 to 12 in Hanoi’s COVID-19 low and medium risk areas (labelled green and yellow) will return to school on February 8, after eight months of online learning.
|Schools in Hanoi have been closed since May 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Local authorities asked schools to suspend opening canteens or offering day-boarding meals.
Schools must ensure safety measures with all teachers being vaccinated.
If any positive cases are detected, the school management boards must it.
COVID-19 steering committees at district level will decide whether in-person learning will continue or not.
Primary school students and sixth graders in the city will continue to learn online.
Those in 7th to 12th grade at schools located in high risk and very high risk areas (labelled orange and red) will continue online classes.
According to the latest COVID-19 risk level assessment, four districts in Hanoi are classified at level 3 (high risk/orange): Gia Lam, Nam Tu Liem, Hoang Mai and Chuong My.
Other districts are at level 2 (medium risk/yellow).
According to the city’s Department of Health, as of January 20, about 99.7 per cent of children aged between 12 and 14 have been inoculated with the first vaccine doses.
More than 99 per cent of those aged from 15 to 17 have been administered with the first jabs.
Schools in Hanoi have been closed since May 2021 when the fourth wave of COVID-19 broke out.
In early November, students in some suburban districts returned to school.
In early December, 12th graders returned to schools but classes have closed many times due to the pandemic resurgence.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh last week ordered local authorities, especially localities with high vaccination rate for children aged between 12 and 17, to organise in-person classes for students aged 12 and above as soon as possible after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Source: Vietnam News
Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said that gradual reopening of schools is a necessity as Vietnam’s vaccination rate is high, drugs for Covid-19 have been improved, and anti-pandemic conditions and people’s awareness have improved.