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‘Back to Healthy School’ campaign unveils education new-normal

Jun 22. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Education Ministry has launched a “Back to Healthy School” campaign to ensure students’ safety after schools nationwide are reopened next month.

Varavij Kambhu na Ayudhaya, the minister’s adviser, said on Monday (June 22) the remainder of the school year would be cut from 200 days to 180 days over two semesters – July 1 to November 14 and December 1 to April 10. Normally the semesters run between May 16 and March 30.

However, he said, schools were permitted to extend teaching time to compensate for the fewer days.

The Department of Health (DOH) is collaborating with the ministry to create a safety handbook for schools, with 20 points schools must implement if they want to reopen.

“We have checked all educational institutions and over 90 per cent have passed the DOH criteria” said Varavij. These include social distancing measures in classrooms and the provision of facemasks and sanitisers.

The adviser said that around 31,000 schools have room to ensure 1.5 metres between each student in classrooms, but that as many as 4,500 schools will need to limit student numbers. Some students will be allowed to study in the classroom, but others will be told to study at home via the ministry’s online courses.

The DOH and the ministry have also given guidance on school buses and canteens. Meanwhile, arrangement are in place to deal with any Covid-19 cases found in schools.

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