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Students return to in-person classes in Hanoi after 6-month COVID-19 break

Students return to in-person classes in Hanoi after 6-month COVID-19 break

Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 12:04 GMT+7
Students return to in-person classes in Hanoi after 6-month COVID-19 break
Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Ninth-grade students in Hanoi’s Ba Vi District, which is currently at low risk of COVID-19 transmission, were allowed to return to school on Monday following a six-month hiatus due to an outbreak. 

The students arrived at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District early on Monday morning, wearing face masks and having their body temperature measured.

They attended their first in-person class since May 4, when Hanoi authorities ordered the shutdown of educational facilities for pandemic prevention and control, at 7:30 am, following a flag-raising ceremony.

“Studying online at home means no contact with friends, which was very sad and greatly affected my psyche,” said Tran Ha Phuong, a ninth grader at Tay Dang.

“I feel much happier in face-to-face class. 

“I also find that remote learning is not as effective as in-person learning.”

Students use hand sanitizer before entering Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students use hand sanitizer before entering Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

In the same excitement as Phuong, Nguyen Thi Thu Nhan, however, remained cautious about possible coronavirus transmissions.

“Right at the entrance, we were asked to keep a distance, with each of us staying two meters apart, have our body temperature measured, and use hand sanitizer,” Nhan said.

“We’re also asked to neither talk in class nor take off face masks and keep a safe distance apart.”

Not only Nhan, but her literature teacher, Nguyen Thi Hanh, and school principal Dang Thuy Ha also shared similar mixed feelings.

“Both teachers and students are happy to return to school, but we’re also quite worried about ensuring COVID-19 prevention,” said Ha. 

Ha added that the school’s management board arranged for students from three out of its six ninth-grade classes to go to school in the morning while those from the other three study at another building of the campus in the afternoon.

Students cycle to school in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students cycle to school in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Last week, the People’s Committee of Hanoi decided to let students in certain grades in 18 districts and towns return to in-person classes on Monday, having carefully considered COVID-19 developments in each locale.

The permitted returnees include fifth, sixth, ninth, tenth, and 12th graders in low- and medium-risk areas while other graders in the same neighborhood and students in other areas will stick to the online learning mode.

Teaching and learning activities for kindergarteners will remain suspended.

City authorities, however, changed the back-to-school plan on November 6, allowing only fifth, sixth, ninth, tenth, and 12th graders in Ba Vi District to return to school before scaling down to just ninth-grade students owing to the new complicated COVID-19 situation.

“We’ll welcome back other students in the near future, depending on the local coronavirus situation,” said Phung Ngoc Oanh, head of the bureau of education and training in Ba Vi District.

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi authorities also plan to vaccinate over 95 percent of local children aged 12 to 17 from the remaining months of this year to the end of the first quarter of 2022, with those from 16 to 17 years old getting the shots first.

The capital city, whose population is over eight million, has recorded 5,314 local infections since the fourth coronavirus wave flared up in Vietnam on April 27.

Over 6.1 million people of the city have received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 4.3 million of them fully vaccinated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam has found 976,672 infections since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit it early last year and 971,711 community transmissions in all of its 63 provinces and cities since the fourth virus wave broke out.

More than 29.3 million people of the 98 million population in the Southeast Asian country have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus. 

The central government has relaxed pandemic control curbs over the past month as transmissions have slowed down, due partly to larger vaccine coverage.

However, the number of infections has appeared to rebound in several locales in recent days.

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a class at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students and their teacher attend a flag raising ceremony at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students and their teacher attend a flag-raising ceremony at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A student has her body temperature measured at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A student has her body temperature measured at Tay Dang Middle School in Ba Vi District, Hanoi, November 9, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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