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Saigon’s int’l schools long for back-to-school date as test dates near

Friday, March 06, 2020, 16:47 GMT+7
Saigon’s int’l schools long for back-to-school date as test dates near
The entrance of the Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nhu Hung / Tuoi Tre

Many international schools in Ho Chi Minh City have expressed the hope that their students will soon resume their education following a long break due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The municipal Department of Education and Training organized a meeting with representatives of local international schools on Thursday to listen to their options and wishes regarding the back-to-school date.

The education department will make suitable proposals and submit them to the municipal administration after listening to the school representatives.

According to Roderick Crouch, executive principal of the Australian International School (AIS), the school board fully supports the Vietnamese government’s decisions regarding the school break to prevent infections.

However, he said, the biggest concern for AIS is that its students are expected to take their International Baccalaureate (IB) test in May.

It is going to be a problem if the school break continues, Crouch said, as the test cannot be rescheduled.

The school has been assisting students by providing online lessons, but it would be best if they could return to school, Crouch elaborated.

The executive principal stated that the school is planning to open afterschool classes when the students return to ensure they are properly prepared for the upcoming test.

All students and staff members of the school will have their body temperature monitored when school resumes, he said, adding that those who are sick will not be allowed to enter campus.

The entrance of the Canadian International School in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nhu Hung / Tuoi Tre
The entrance of the Canadian International School in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nhu Hung / Tuoi Tre

A similar issue is faced by ABC International School, as students will have to take A-Level and IGCSE exams from late April until early June.

H.T.N., a resident in District 3, whose son is studying 12th grade at the AIS, is also concerned about the performance of her child in the coming IB test.

The exam will take place over the course of three weeks and test students on many subjects including foreign languages, science, math, and arts, N. stated.

“It is going to be an intense exam. My son has studied hard for the past 12 years and I hope he will do well during the test to be able to enroll in a good university,” she remarked.

COVID-19 has killed 3,388 people and infected over 98,500 around the world since it first hit the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

All of them have fully recovered and have been discharged from the hospital.

An extended school break has taken place across the country since the Lunar New Year holiday, which was in late January.

Authorities in Ho Chi City have decided to resume education for 12th graders from March 9.

Kindergarteners, first- to 11th-grade students, and those enrolled in computer, language, tutoring and life skills education centers will not return to school until after March 15.

The back-to-school date for students at international schools in the city remained unclear as of Friday afternoon.

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