High Schools Brace for Return of Seniors

  • By Kwak Soo-keun

    May 18, 2020 10:15

    Schools start to reopen this week as planned amid efforts by education authorities to minimize contact between them.

    The reopening of schools was already delayed for another week due to a fresh surge in coronavirus infections traced to clubgoers in Seoul's Itaewon, but high school seniors are to return on Wednesday and the rest in the following weeks.

    The Education Ministry decided not to delay the reopening of schools any further but come up with ways to ensure social distancing in the schools.

    Vice Education Minister Park Baeg-beom told reporters on Sunday that very few teachers were among the newly infected patients and a further delay could affect the university entrance plans of high school seniors. Instead, it will try to minimize contact by, for instance, making them come in on alternate days or weeks according to grade or dividing years into several groups who will be taught in different rooms.

    But it failed to give more detailed guidelines, saying each school can take the measures that suit it.

    Teachers expressed disappointment, saying they expected the government to present more concrete measures to guarantee the safety of students and faculty rather than leaving the details to individual offices of education or schools.

    The ministry said broader guidelines would be difficult to enforce since schools in different regions each have their own unique circumstances. 

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