HÀ NỘI — Students in HCM City and several southern provinces returned to school on Tuesday after a long period of studying online due to COVID-19.
Students in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11 in HCM City started in-person classes on Tuesday, whereas nearly 160,000 students in grades 9 and 12 have been back at school since December 13. Now more than 680,000 students in the city are studying in person after seven months of online learning.
At the Nguyễn Văn Linh High School in District 8, nearly 100 per cent of students returned to school on Tuesday. More than 1,300 students of grades 10, 11 and 12 were divided into 26 classes to ensure social distancing.
The school prepared one room for quarantine in case COVID-19 patients are discovered.
It also allocated body temperature machines and assigned workers to manage students.
Kim Nguyễn Quỳnh Giao, the school’s principal, said since the beginning of the pandemic, 10 teachers and workers of the school tested positive for COVID-19, and have now recovered from it.
“During the in-person period, if any teacher tests positive for COVID-19, we will assign others to do supply teaching to ensure that classes are maintained,” she said.
Nguyễn Du High School in District 10 last Friday informed students about preventive measures.
Huỳnh Thanh Phú, principal of the school, said: “Being back to school, not only students but teachers also are excited. Although gathering a large number of students while the COVID-19 pandemic has not been completely controlled can have potential risks, we have prepared all preventive measures.”
Most parents have agreed to send their children back to school and students’ awareness is very good, so the school feels more secure with in-person learning.
Most students are excited to be back at school after months of online learning.
Phạm Nguyên Trang, a 10th-grade student of the Ernst Thalmann High School in District 1, said: “I am very happy to be back at school. Although my parents are still worried about the pandemic, I feel that we are all grown up and had two doses of vaccine, so as long as we follow preventive methods, we will be safe.
“Now I just want to meet my friends and have a lot of time to review our knowledge,” she said.
From the parents’ perspective, Lê Xuân Thể, father of an 11th grader at Hiệp Bình High School in Thủ Đức City expressed his excitement and support for in-person learning.
He said that during online learning, his family could not afford to buy computers, so his children had to study using their phones, meaning they could not understand the lessons.
“I think it’s time for students to adapt to the pandemic so that they can go to school safely and effectively, and gradually return to the previous rhythm of life and learning. We hope that schools will have the best plan to ensure safety for the students,” said Thể.
Receiving a great number of students has put great pressure on schools in the city. To ensure safety, each school is ready with plans for teaching and learning.
With 2,300 students from grades seven to nine, the Hồng Bàng Junior Secondary School in District 5 allocates students of grades 8 and 9 to study in the morning and students of grade 7 in the afternoon. Each class is divided into two groups and take turns going to school and studying online at home.
The Ngô Thời Nhiệm Primary, Junior Secondary and High School have more than 2,000 students, of whom 800 are boarders.
The school prepared more bedrooms to ensure social distancing, and each room had 12 students instead of 24 before.
Phạm Thị Thúy Vĩnh, head of the school’s board of directors, said the school had enough medical equipment and organised quick tests for teachers and students on their first day of going back to school. Then it will have random tests every three days.
In the southern province of Sóc Trăng, Trần Thị Thu Hằng, director of the provincial Department of Education and Training, said all schools in the province had prepared infrastructure and medical equipment for in-person learning.
The schools strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s instructions.
Most students believe direct learning would bring better results. They all followed the Ministry of Health’s 5K message – khẩu trang (facemask), khử khuẩn (disinfection), khoảng cách (distance), không tụ tập (no gathering) and khai báo y tế (health declaration).
Tạ Dương Thắng, principal of the Châu Thành Junior Secondary School in Châu Thành District, said the school founded a committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.
It also sprayed disinfectant to ensure safety for students.
The northern province of Bắc Giang on Tuesday temporarily stopped students from going to school after cases of COVID-19 were detected.
Except for the provincial boarding school for ethnic minority students, all other students are learning online.
Bắc Giang City last Thursday discovered a fourth-grader of the Ngô Sỹ Liên Primary School in Ngô Quyền Ward was positive for COVID-19 after catching the virus from a foreign teacher of English.
The city found five schools with a total of 127 COVID-19 patients, including Đông Thành and Nam Hồng primary schools.
The provincial steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control has treated the affected areas and given information to parents and students. — VNS