The Hanoi education department on Wednesday proposed for students in grade 1-6 of 12 inner districts to return to school in March.
Primary school students and 6th graders in the capital’s 12 inner districts – Ba Dinh, Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Dong Da, Ha Dong, Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hoang Mai, Long Bien, Nam Tu Liem, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan – were supposed to return to school starting Feb. 21, but the plan was postponed amid low approval rates from parents and unfavorable weather conditions.
Tran Luu Hoa, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said the number of students returning to schools in the past week has dropped. For example, the first week when high school students return, the turnout rate was over 90 percent, but dropped to 75 percent in the second week.
Nguyen Thanh Son, the Party Committee Secretary of Hanoi’s universities and colleges, said over 300,000 university students have returned to school.
However, certain school administrations are currently swamped with rising number of Covid-19 cases among its students. Therefore, the Party Committee has told schools to prepare well for students’ return, including providing quarantine areas with caretakers. First-year and last-year students should be prioritized to return to Hanoi, it added.
Chu Xuan Dung, deputy chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, said the number of new cases in the capital is rising rapidly, clocking at around 5,000 new cases a day. The majority of them however are either mild or asymptomatic cases, he added.
For more than half a year since mid-2021, over 2.2 million kindergartners and students of Hanoi have had to stay home due to impacts of Covid-19. As the country began to reopen, the capital has also allowed students to gradually return to school.
The city allowed 9th graders to return to school last November, and two weeks later, 12th graders got the go ahead. Students from 7th to 11th grades only returned to school on February 8 and they were followed soon after by primary school and 6th grade students in schools on the city’s outskirts.
Kindergartners are set return to school starting March, but whether this will happen as scheduled remains to be seen, given the current Covid situation.
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