Vietnam may delay back-to-school date due to Covid-19 outbreak

The MoET allows the people’s committees of cities and provinces to decide on the local school break, that will base on the actual Covid-19 situation and recommendations of healthcare agencies.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) may extend the 2020-21 academic year if the Covid-19 pandemic situation becomes more serious, according to Nguyen Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the Department of Secondary Education under the MoET.

In the 2020-21 school year plan, educational institutions have two weeks of provision. Therefore, the two week school break after the Lunar New Year holiday due to Covid-19 will not affect the general plan of the current school year, Thanh said.

Besides, that the students are kept out of classroom does not mean the learning is interrupted as the online schooling still takes place. Thus, lessons are still imparted on schedule since the beginning of the school year, Thanh noted.

back-to-school date, Covid-19 outbreak, school break, MoET, online schooling

 Students take part in the 2020 the national senior high school exam at Kim Lien High School in Hanoi. Photo: Quang Tan

He stressed that the MoET is mulling different scenarios for this school year plan. If the Covid-19 pandemic situation worsens, the ministry will delay school returning date and reschedule the national senior high school exam. The entrance exam at the local level will also have to be postponed.

"We had experienced the situation in the 2019-20 school year. Therefore, teachers, students and parents should be assured that teaching plans would not undergo many changes," Thanh said.

He noted that the provincial People's Committees will decide on the local school break, based on their actual Covid-19 situation and recommendations of healthcare agencies. The MoET always gives priority to ensuring students’ health, Thanh added.

So far, numerous provinces and cities in Vietnam are closing schools until February 28 to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Normally, Vietnamese public schools are open from August 1, before the new school year officially commences on September 5 and ends at the end of May.

Vietnamese students are typically given a two-week spring holiday and three-month summer break. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some 20 million students had been on a prolonged spring break following Tet holiday in mid February. Many schools have resorted to remote learning during the break.

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