Opening schools safely

Monday, 2022-02-07 18:25:22
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NDO - Many localities across the country began to reopen schools today (February 7), bringing pupils and students back to direct learning after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prolonged suspension of school has greatly affected the physical and mental health as well as academic quality of students. Studies by experts have shown that the percentage of students visiting psychological doctors and receiving treatment has skyrocketed due to staying at home for such a long time.

The rate of students lacking concentration and lacking interest in learning is quite high. Meanwhile, self-deprecating, disorientation, sleep disturbance, irritability, and anxiety for no reason have also become common for both teachers and students. Therefore, it is necessary to bring students back to school.

However, with more than 22.6 million pupils and students nationwide, going to school directly amid the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic poses many problems not only for teachers but also for students' parents, the education sector, and others.

The reopening of schools should follow the spirit of adaptability, flexibility, and safety against the pandemic to promote effective teaching. The Ministry of Education and Training has asked the People's Committees of provinces and cities to guide educational institutions with appropriate scenarios to deal with pandemic situations during direct teaching at the school.

In addition, it is necessary to organise training and drills for teachers, students and parents to create consensus for children to go to school and ensure safety for them while at school.

Local authorities should support schools and students' families in devising appropriate teaching plans for each locality and specific groups of students (students with underlying diseases, difficult circumstances, living far from their parents, and others).

The requisitioned schools for pandemic prevention must be promptly handed over to educational institutions while school disinfection must be implemented before students return to school. It is also important to create conditions for higher education institutions, universities and colleges to bring students back to study directly after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Reopening schools not only requires preparation at school but also mental and attitude preparation for parents, students and teachers. After a long period of online learning, there will be cases of students being afraid to learn face-to-face and teachers being unwilling to teach directly. Therefore, support is required to keep students and teachers interested and eager to learn and teach directly. In the early days of returning to school, educational institutions need to coordinate with medical facilities, relevant agencies, and parents to update information on the pandemic situation and psychological developments of students in order to promptly advise and help children regarding the right awareness, behaviour, and skills in disease prevention and control.

It is also crucial to organise integration activities, social interaction, psychological counselling, physical activity, and skills education before teaching new knowledge. Schools and teachers also need to strengthen school security and safety to prevent school violence.

The form of online teaching in the past two years has created a push to promote the application of information technology and digital transformation in the education industry while also creating a good foundation for self-study and distance learning. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to promote the positive elements of online teaching in direct teaching. It is also advisable to consolidate knowledge and consider an appropriate testing and assessment schedule to best perform in the tasks for the 2021-2022 school year and following school years.

GIANG SON
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