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Schools ready to resume classes for new semester

By ZOU SHUO in Beijing and LIU KUN in Wuhan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-08 09:02
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Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan inspects a high school and three universities in Beijing for their preparations for the new semester on Feb 6, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Preparations are being made for around 300 million students and teachers to safely go back to school for the new semester after the country downgraded management of the COVID-19 epidemic, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan said on Monday.

While inspecting a high school and three universities in Beijing for their preparations for the new semester on Monday, Sun said schools of all levels should optimize their management measures according to the new COVID-19 control measures and fully resume normal teaching and schooling.

Schools need to conduct thorough research on the COVID-19 infection status of students and teachers before the new semester, she said.

Also, schools should make full use of school clinics, hospitals and medical centers, prepare medical resources, and strengthen the health monitoring of students and teachers, she said.

Sun called for efforts to safeguard the health of all teaching staff and students, as well as the safety of school campuses.

Primary and secondary schools and kindergartens need to conduct daily health checks and report infectious diseases, and keep a record of any absences, Sun said.

Schools are asked to continue to promote psychological education and counseling for students and teachers who have developed anxiety due to the epidemic.

Based on the situation for students, schools are required to properly arrange the teaching schedule and strictly implement the national teaching syllabus and standards to ensure teaching quality, she said.

Education authorities should help schools and teachers solve difficulties, promote more equitable and higher quality education, and improve people's rate of satisfaction with education, she added.

Qiu Ruodong, vice-principal of Qingdao Experimental High School, said the school welcomed around 3,000 students and teachers on Monday for the new semester.

The school no longer conducts mass nucleic acid tests on students and teachers and they no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the school, Qiu said.

It will establish a record of the COVID-19 infection status of teachers and students, including the number of infections, severe cases and their underlying conditions, which will be updated to the provincial COVID-19 control platform for the education sector every week, he said.

If the school has an outbreak, it will notify the local COVID-19 response group immediately to slow the epidemic, he added.

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, Hubei province, will resume in-person schooling on Feb 12. Students are required to monitor their health every day starting from Monday and any students with COVID-19 symptoms should take an antigen or nucleic acid test.

If they test positive, they need to report it to the school and delay returning to the school, according to the university.

Student counselors should have daily contact with students who have COVID-19 symptoms or are hospitalized. All departments and schools need to make sure students return to the university on schedule and verify the reasons for any absent students and report them to the university, it added.


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