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School year to end late due to Covid-19: Minister
The Saigon Times Daily
Saturday,  Feb 15, 2020,12:56 (GMT+7)

School year to end late due to Covid-19: Minister

The Saigon Times Daily

Students in Thang Long Secondary School in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District wear face masks during the school day. The Ministry of Education and Training will reschedule the finish of the 2019-2020 school year - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC - Due to the complicated developments of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Education and Training will reschedule the finish of the 2019-2020 school year, said Minister Phung Xuan Nha.

During a working trip to the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, the minister said several localities had decided to ask students to return to schools on February 17 after two weeks of shutdown, the local media reported.

He added that the leaders of these localities had made the decision having consulted with the local Departments of Health and Education and Training, and carefully evaluated the situation in their localities.

However, due to the complicated developments of the epidemic, localities should carefully consider the plan and only allow students to return to school when they have fully adopted safety measures for students, as instructed by the Ministry of Health.

Nha added that the Ministry of Education and Training had built scenarios to cope with the spread of the epidemic, including the delay of plans in the current school year, and especially the date to end the school year. The decision is aimed at helping localities to have time to complete their plans for the 2019-2020 school year and deploy disease prevention and control solutions, including the plan to allow students to take more days off.

The rescheduling of the finish of the school year may cause some difficulties for the education sector and localities, but these difficulties can be overcome with appropriate management solutions for schools, Nha noted, adding that localities must place the safety and health of students and teachers as their top priority.

On the same day, the minister also wrote to heads of the governments of cities and provinces, asking them to watch the new developments of the epidemic in their localities to allow students to stay at home until the end of February.

At present, Hanoi, HCMC and other localities have extended the school closures.

Specifically, students in Hanoi will not return to school until February 23, said Nguyen Duc Chung, chairman of the municipal government.

Meanwhile, the HCMC government has decided to allow students in the city to remain home until the end of February.

At a meeting with the national steering committee for Covid-19 prevention and control on February 14, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that schools should remain shut if students and parents are still concerned about the spread of the virus at schools.

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