Vietnam’s schools reopen after the country reports low case numbers . . .
On Monday, students in Vietnam started to return to classes after the three-month COVID-19 school closure. The decision to reopen schools was made after the country reported 17 continuous days of no domestically transmitted cases. Among the 22 million students in Vietnam, the high school graduating classes are the first to return, while other grades and primary schools will have to wait until the end of May. China and South Korea have also partially reopened their schools after their number of domestic cases dropped.
Asian schools adjusting to the new normal . . .
Although students are returning, their school life is not like before – Asian countries are implementing new school policies and measures to prevent the future spread of COVID-19. For example, in many schools across the region students will get their temperature checked at school gates and find disinfection sprayers and cloths in every classroom. Teachers and students at many schools are required to wear masks or face shields and have lunch at individual tables. Social distancing in schools also requires smaller class sizes. In some schools, rooms normally used for band practice or other activities have been re-purposed as classrooms, and/or students are attending in ‘shifts,’ albeit with reduced classroom time.
Meanwhile, in Canada . . .
According to UNESCO, the COVID-19 school closures are impacting 1.5 billion students around the world. School reopening is among the most pressing requests, as it will help move economies forward by allowing parents to go back to work. As the curve flattens in some Asian countries, the decision to resume classes has usually come after two weeks of low infection numbers. In Canada, Quebec, the province with highest COVID-19 cases, has announced plans to partially reopen schools on May 11. Other provinces have said their schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year. Although there is no clear timeline for when Canadian students could be back in classrooms, Asian countries could provide insights that will help us manage that process when the time comes.
- The Jakarta Post: Vietnam kids back at school after 3-month virus break
- The National Post: 'Gradual and prudence': Quebec to reopen all elementary schools and daycares by May 19
- The Washington Post: Students wearing masks return to school as some countries start to reopen during covid-19 crisis