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Saigon Extends School Shutdown by 1 Week for Grade 12, 2 Weeks for Others

Saigon authorities recently announced that students in public schools in the city will continue to stay at home for the first weeks of March.

As Tuoi Tre reports, after a meeting on February 29, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has confirmed an extension to the current school shutdown. Specifically, students in Grade 12 in Saigon will stay at home until March 8, while those in lower grades will not come back to school until March 15.

This also includes students of external language institutions, tuition centers and other skill classes. Students in vocational schools, however, will have to endure another month of school shutdown until April. Hanoi also announced not long ago that the city will extent the school closure until March 8.

According to Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, the high density of local school is the main reason why municipal officials have been reluctant to reopen schools. It’s estimated that Saigon now has more than 2,000 schools and 1.9 million students, amounting to 1,000–2,000 students per institution.

Phong added at the meeting that this would likely be the last extension for Grade 12, as any more holiday time will affect their graduation schedule.

The HCMC Department of Education and Training also issued a guideline on school fees during the shutdown period, instructing public schools to only collect fees for periods when students are actually in school. Private education centers, on the other hand, are required to negotiate with parents on fee payments during these weeks.

Apart from school students, Saigon authorities also discussed quarantine scenarios regarding Vietnamese citizens flying back from outbreak regions, especially South Korea. According to immigration statistics, from February 23 to 27, the city received 5,674 passengers from the East Asian country.

Over the past week, Vietnam has seen a surge in citizens flying back to avoid South Korea’s Covid-9 epidemic. The Ministry of Transport announced this week that all Vietnamese citizens arriving from South Korea from February 26 will undergo a 14-day quarantine. Nguoi Lao Dong also reports that from February 29, Vietnam requires all passengers from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy to fill out a health declaration document.

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