Beijing to resume in-school classes for primary and secondary schools on June 1

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 13:02:45

Students attend a class at a junior high school in Beijing, May 11, 2020. More than 80,000 students in their final year at junior high schools in Beijing returned to school on Monday. (Photo: China News Service/ Jiang Qiming)

Beijing is set to gradually resume in-school classes of primary and secondary schools in an orderly manner from June 1, China's Children's day, the capital's health authority announced. Closed management and big-data reporting systems will be crucial as the forthcoming classes are resumed.

Big data systems for health status and contact risk information will play a significant role in the resumption of in-school classes. According to authorities' requirements, schools must report students' health status three times a day into a system connected to Beijing's center for disease prevention and control.

Another health status reporting system for family members is also being set up. If suspicious symptoms such as fever occur, students' parents should immediately report to school and promptly go to hospital. Schools have also been asked to urge students' parents not to leave Beijing unless absolutely necessary. 

To make sure that the close contacts are traceable, schools in Beijing will implement closed-off management, which means that anyone entering school must undergo an identity check and temperature monitoring. Non-essential personnel will not be allowed to enter the campus. 

Beijing's education regulators said the class times each day must not be earlier than 8 am, while grades and classes should avoid peak congestion when arriving and leaving schools. 

All students and teachers are also required to wear masks during class, but can take them off when doing outdoor sports while observing proper social distancing. Security guards, cleaners and canteen staff must wear masks at school. 

However, mass-gathering events and activities are prohibited. 

Evaluation of online teaching effects should be strengthened after returning to school and resuming classes, and the amount and intensity of physical exercise should also be controlled reasonably, reads the document.

China is facing a challenge in terms of classroom epidemic prevention amid the gradual resumption of in-school classes, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in mid-May. The ministry disclosed that a total of 150 to 200 million students will return to school at the end of this month. 

Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times that classroom study needs to be resumed on the premise of ensuring students' health and safety amid full preparations. Measures should be flexible and fit the real situation of each region.

Beijing has reported zero confirmed cases, zero imported cases and zero silent carriers for 38 consecutive days as of Saturday. 

According to the MOE's data released in mid-May, more than 107 million students, or 39 percent of the total number, had resumed classes in the mainland by May 11, including 2.9 million college students, 21 million high school students, 43.8 million pupils and 4.6 million kindergarten children.

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