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Vietnam Continues Nationwide School Shutdown Due to Covid-19

Schools and university campuses were supposed to reopen on February 17 in several provinces.

However, on February 14, the Ministry of Education and Training sent an emergency dispatch to all provincial People’s Committees to propose that these provinces continue to close schools until the end of February, Tuoi Tre reports.

The ministry also said that it will push the end date for the 2019-2020 academic term to a later time. The examination dates will also be adjusted accordingly.

As of February 15, all 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam have extended their school closing time, 56 of which — including Saigon — have announced that schools will be closed until the end of February, according to the news source.

Amidst the worrying spread of Covid-19, the Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee is also proposing to the central government and the education and training ministry to let students stay at home until the end of March. The proposed second term of the academic year will then start instead in April and end in July this year. The new academic term will start in September and the summer holiday will be shortened to one month.

The HCMC Department of Education and Training has also sent a dispatch encouraging schools and universities to change their teaching methods to ones that stimulate self-learning and research.

While most schools and parents agree on closing schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic, long breaks have taken a toll on parents, especially factory workers who have small children. Tuoi Tre mentioned in a different report that since these workers still have to go to work, a lot of them are struggling to find babysitting help.

[Photo: Staff members of a school in Hanoi clean campus facilities during the extended break/Facebook page Truong Nguyen Sieu]