Education minister stresses need for school reopening

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son has underlined the necessity for school reopening, noting that the country now has sufficient conditions for the move.
Education minister stresses need for school reopening
Students from the 7th to 12th grades in 'green' and 'yellow' zones in Ha Noi are set to return to school from February 8. (Photo: VNA)

Safely adapting to the pandemic and gradually reopening schools are highly important for educational activities to return to normal, he told the Vietnam News Agency on January 25.

He said under the Government’s directions on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has worked with the Health Ministry to issue guidance on pandemic safety for students once in-person learning is restored.

Over the last two years, online teaching and learning have been carried out on a large scale as a compulsory measure in response to the pandemic. However, differences in communication infrastructure and economic conditions among regions have resulted in a large gap in educational access. Students, especially pre-school and primary ones, in less developed, mountainous, and insular areas have encountered disadvantages in this regard, Son admitted.

Facing that fact, various solutions have been taken. Under a programme launched by the Prime Minister, localities, businesses, organisations, and individuals have donated school tools and expanded the Internet coverage to help with online learning. Thousands of computers and smart phones have been delivered to underprivileged students so far, according to the minister.

He held that the pandemic has given a boost to the IT application in the education sector, greatly contributing to the fundamental and comprehensive reform of education and training.

Pointing out the need for school reopening, the official said prolonged virtual learning may lead to certain negative impacts on educational quality, as well as the physical and mental health of teachers, students, and related persons.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam has recorded a high vaccination rate in the community, including those aged between 12 and under 18, and gained more experience in disease prevention and control. It now has sufficient grounds, experience, and conditions to strongly promote school reopening.

This is not merely school reopening but also the reinforcement and reconstruction of education, Son went on.

The MoET has also asked localities to make plans on consolidating knowledge for students when in-person learning is resumed, he said, adding that the consolidation will be conducted in not only one year but many years.

During a meeting in Ha Noi on January 24, Deputy Minister Ngo Thi Minh said 14 localities nationwide have restored in-person learning, 30 others combined both online and offline learning, and 19 others offered lessons online or via television. As scheduled, 35 more localities will re-open schools on February 7, bringing the total to 49, while 14 others will do the same on February 12.

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(Source: VNA)