June 21, 2021 13:25
All 5.6 million schoolchildren across the country will go back to school in the fall semester provided that daily coronavirus infections remain below 1,000 nationwide. Currently, about 400-500 new cases occur on daily average.
Schools have been fully or partially closed for a year and five months.
The Education Ministry on Sunday said both academic skills and interpersonal relationships among schoolchildren are seriously suffering amid the protracted lockdown. It also found no significant correlation between school attendance and coronavirus cases in the first semester.
In May, the average school attendance was 72.3 percent nationwide, while the average daily number of new coronavirus cases was 0.76 per 100,000 schoolchildren.
In one region where school attendance was 96.1 percent, the average daily number of infections stood at a mere 0.38 per 100,000 schoolchildren, the lowest in the country.
"We also took into account reports that advanced countries like the U.S., the U.K., France, and Japan are considering reopening schools fully in the fall semester," a ministry official said.
Schools in different regions will be allowed to provide both online and offline classes depending on their specific situation. For instance, teachers and parents in schools with more than 30 children per classroom can decide to let only up to three quarters of a class come to school on any given day.
If daily infections soar above 1,000 a day, all schools will have to provide some online classes.
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