Around two million students in Hanoi on September 5 attended a virtual opening ceremony of the 2021-2022 new school year, the first of its kind due to the ongoing serious evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Joining such a special ceremony via television, first-grader Tue Linh and sixth-grader Do Duc Anh at Hanoi-based Lomonosov Education System, on the early morning of the day put on a new uniform to attend the ceremony at home through live streaming.
Tue Linh watches the opening ceremony for new the school year online. Photo: My Trang
With over 3,700 infections and strict social distancing rules, Hanoi held an opening ceremony for the new school year at the capital city’s emblematic Trung Vuong Secondary School in Hoan Kiem District.
The ceremony saw the in-person attendance of teachers, school staff, and over 20 students who had passed a Covid-19 test one day before the event. It was broadcast live on the Hanoi Radio and Television and online platforms so that teachers and students of all over Hanoi can watch the live broadcast and then held their new school year ceremony online.
My Trang, Tue Linh’s mother, told The Hanoi Times that even though she and her daughter had to attend the new school year ceremony via a screen, they still found it solemn and warm.
“The first day of the school year is more sacred for first graders. This is my daughter’s first opening ceremony at primary school, she was looking very much forward to attending it in person with her friends and teachers. But since it was not possible, I encouraged her to have fun attending the ceremony at home", My Trang said.
Sharing the same feeling, Do Hung Thinh, father of Do Duc Anh, said he agreed with the city's decision to hold the school opening ceremony online and remote learning because ensuring Covid-19 prevention is the most important thing.
Do Duc Anh attends his new school year opening ceremony online on September 5, 2021. Photo: Hung Thinh
“Though my son couldn't attend the opening ceremony in person, I saw that he was still very excited. He was watching the ceremony without taking his eyes off the tablet. A special opening ceremony that both my son and I saw as very meaningful. Both teachers and students made great efforts to overcome the past academic year. I believe that, with the municipal authorities’ current strong measures, Hanoi will soon be able to repel the pandemic and students will return to school," Thinh told The Hanoi Times.
Hanoi has recently decided to extend its social distancing order in 15 districts for another two weeks as the Covid-19 outbreak remains complicated, with dozens of new cases recorded every day.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the school year 2021-2022, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh expressed his hope that the students would find motivation in learning; cultivate the qualities, ethics, intelligence, and courage of today's young Vietnamese generation; make worthy contributions to the beloved capital city.
Chairman of the City People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh beat the drum to open the new school year 2021-2022. Photo: Ngoc Tu
“In the face of the serious evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, the city’s education sector has quickly and synchronously deployed solutions to ensure the safety of more than two million students and over 150,000 teachers. Hanoi will keep maintaining the quality of education. The coming school year will face unpredictable factors, more difficulties, and challenges but we will do our best to complete the set tasks," Ngoc Anh said.
As of September 5, 57 cities and provinces out of 63 nationwide have decided to hold the opening ceremony of the new school year either in-person or online, while the remainders have canceled or delayed the opening date, giving priority to pandemic prevention and ensuring students’ safety.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus epicenter of the ongoing outbreak in Vietnam with over 250,000 infections, 1.3 million students started their new school year without opening ceremonies. Secondary and high school students will begin online classes from September 6 while primary students will have two weeks to get familiar with online study before taking classes in mid-September.
In the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak that began late April, Vietnam has recorded nearly 507,000 infections. Hanoi has recorded 3,722 local Covid-19 cases since the fourth coronavirus wave broke out in late April. To keep their children safe from the virus, many parents know that online learning is the only choice regardless of its drawbacks in comparison with face-to-face instruction.