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Schools Expected To Reopen On May 11 Under Close Supervision

Source: Vientiane Times

State and private kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and tertiary education institutions along with sporting activities, are expected to reopen on May 11 amid strict measures.

All education levels are set to continue their terms from May through to the middle of July, with final examinations to be held in July and August.

The details were revealed in a report by the Ministry of Education and Sports presented during a meeting last week to discuss preparations for the reopening of schools. Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun chaired the meeting.

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Participants agreed that if the COVID-19 outbreak were assessed as under control after May 3 with no risk to teachers and students, then the government would approve the reopening of all education levels across the country.

All education facilities such as early childhood, general, vocational, higher and monastic education, along with sporting activities including indoor and outdoor stadiums, are expected to reopen on May 11. However, all schools must receive official approval from the government before commencing classes.

To prepare for the reopening of schools, the Ministry of Education and Sports proposed the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control direct concerned officials to clean and disinfect school classrooms and grounds to ensure the wellbeing of teachers and students.

The ministry also proposed the committee donate soap, hand gel, face masks, temperature monitors and build washbasins for schools nationwide.
In addition, the ministry has announced that private schools need to pay at least 50 percent of teachers’ salaries for April, despite the closure of schools under the government’s lockdown to control the coronavirus.
The ministry also called for parents to pay at least 50 percent of the fees for students.

Schools have been closed temporarily since March 19 to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 amid the global pandemic. The ministry has produced study programmes for important subjects to broadcast on television and government online social media pages every day.

The online content aims to provide learning opportunities and soften the impacts of school closures on affected students while lessening the risk of viral infection. The online studies programmes include the key subjects of mathematics, Lao language and English.

Maths and Lao language subjects have been offered for Grade 1 and Grade 2 students plus English for students in Grade 3, Grade 4, and Grade 5.