Schools across Hanoi will remain closed after September 21, the date on which the social distancing regime imposed in the capital city since July 24th is supposed to be ended.
The municipal authorities cited the detection of new coronavirus cases over the past weeks as the reason.
Online classes are still the only option for Hanoi’s over two million students from kindergarten to high school levels amid coronavirus fears, according to the municipal Department of Education and Training.
The department also requested universities and colleges follow suit.
Students at Binh Minh High School in Hanoi's suburban district of Hoai Duc keep a safe distance to have their body temperature checked before entering the classrooms. Photo: Nguyen Hieu
Following the decision, Hanoi has become one of the 24 localities to let students stay home amid rising coronavirus cases, others being Ho Chi Minh City and pandemic-hit provinces in the Central and Southern regions.
The Covid-19 pandemic has this year forced schools across the country to close for nearly five months since the National Reunification Day holiday [April 30].
Hanoi has confirmed 20 Covid-19 patients yesterday [September 19], raising the total number of infected cases across the capital city to 4,157 since the fourth wave hit the country on April 27.
Students in 25 northern provinces return to school
Twenty-five northern provinces, where have declared Covid-19 free, have allowed students to return to school since August 23 after the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) released its general plan for the 2021-2022 academic year.
In the province of Bac Giang, once a coronavirus hotspot, the new school year began on September 6 and end on May 25 next year in line with the MoET’s plan.
In May, Bac Giang was Vietnam’s Covid-19 epicenter but now only a handful of cases are reported each day and 99.8% of patients have been discharged from hospitals. The province has also administered vaccines to 18% of its population.
First-graders also began schooling from August 23, a week ahead of the official opening, to acquaint themselves with the new school environment and regulations before the academic year normally starts on September 5.
Other provinces in the northern region also have similar plans for students from kindergarten to high school levels.
The only difference in their plans is the end date of the academic year, but no later than May 31 for all.
Under the MoET’s guidelines, each locality can formulate an agenda appropriate to their actual pandemic situation but the key dates should not be delayed 15 days later than in the general plan.
In provinces and cities where strict social distancing measures are still in place, students can start their new school year in mid-September or even October and finish their school year in June 2022.