09/08/2020, 16.03
VIETNAM
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Millions of Vietnamese children to start online learning

by Thanh Thuy

As the new school year starts, schools implement measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. In some schools, teachers have created video lessons posted on their school’s website.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – Nearly 23 million Vietnamese students started the new school year on Saturday. The first day of class in some schools was different than usual because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Some could not provide proper social distancing and guarantee students’ safety. Others held the opening day online.

Đà Nẵng is one example. The COVID-19 pandemic has badly hit the city of over the past month. Yet, at 6 am on Saturday, schools welcomed pupils with the greetings ‘Đà Nẵng - Hello New School Year’. On the same day, a new municipal by-law came into effect to contain the epidemic.

“All non-essential business companies and services will remain closed to contain the dangerous pandemic. However, food companies and essential services can reopen,” read the statement issued by the Đà Nẵng People's Committee.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training also ordered schools to hold only “brief inaugurations", and avoid "long assemblies and speeches" to ensure safety and prevent large gatherings in school yards.

The first day of school was however broadcast on TV. At the Võ Thị Sáu Primary School (Hải Châu district), teachers were divided into small groups to watch the opening ceremony of the new school year on TV. After that they shared the information from the TV with their pupils.

“The pandemic is very complicated and dangerous,” said Võ Thị Sáu Primary School Principal Nguyễn Thái Phong. “For this reason, the Đà Nẵng Department of Education and Training set up an online teaching programme.

"Working together, teachers have created online video lessons available on the school website. During the first week, they will mostly review what pupils know.

“Based on the school plan and depending on how things go, teachers will take appropriate measures to teach pupils during the rest of the school year.”

At the Núi Thành Primary School in Hải Châu, many teachers came early in the morning to prepare the online opening session.

"This is the first time that the start of the new school year has been silent, without pupils. I am very sorry for the pupils,” said Núi Thành Primary School Vice Principal Hoàng Minh Vi, who has been a teacher for 27 years.

According to Ms Khanh, teachers have made school videos for students, positing them online and sharing them with parents also online.

“As of 7-9 September, in Đà Nẵng students will follow lessons online until in-class learning will be possible,” said Mai Tấn Linh, deputy president of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training. Until then, pupils will not be allowed to come to class.

Schools will instruct teachers to follow their pupils, create a Zalo group, or use email, Facebook etc. to communicate.

Should pupils be unable to take part in online learning, teachers will provide lessons, exercises, questions and receive feedback from students via the website, email, Facebook, Zalo, Viber, etc.

For pupils in Grade 1, teachers must select the basic content, knowledge and skills, to guide parents on how to teach their children at home and prepare them to come to class.

After a week, if the pupils are not yet back in class, schools will ask teachers to adapt the teaching plan. At the same time, following meetings, teachers will rewrite online lessons.

They will also need to focus on children’s reading, writing and math. However, for children, learning online will not be easy. It is unclear when they will go back to school to learn together.

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