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Education Department Proposes Vaccinating Students to Reopen Schools

Today, thousands of students across Saigon officially began a new school year at home.

According to the latest school plan released by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training, middle schools, high schools and continuing education centers started their 2021–2022 school year today, reports Tuoi Tre. Primary school children will have a later start, on September 8.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, all local students will join lessons online at least for the entirety of the first semester, which runs until late January. Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training Nguyễn Văn Hiếu shared that online learning will be the “new normal” for this school year, while it was a temporary measure last year.

Most recently, the department submitted a proposal to the municipal People’s Committee to consider vaccinating school children ages 12 to 18 when there’s an “appropriate amount” of shots. The proposal notes that the inoculation campaign should take place before the first semester ends so students can return to schools in the second semester after Tet. There are over 642,000 students eligible for shots under this proposal.

Meanwhile, the city is moving ahead with plans to give second shots to teachers and school staff and has requested the education department to compile a list of employees and their vaccination status to prepare for this. School staff were among the earliest groups in Vietnam to be vaccinated, with the majority of teachers receiving their first shot back in May and June.

[Photo by Tấn Thạnh via Nguoi Lao Dong]