Students in Shanghai to resume on-site classes from June 6 after more than 2 months at home
Published: May 26, 2022 05:12 PM
Working staff disinfect a school on May 10 to prepare for school reopening in June in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

Working staff disinfect a school on May 10 to prepare for school reopening in June in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

Students in the second and third years of high school in Shanghai will resume classes on campus from June 6, and students in the final year of junior high school will return to their classrooms from June 13, after having attended online classes for nearly three months.

Other students in primary and middle schools will continue online classes until the end of the semester, Yang Zhenfeng, deputy director of the Shanghai Education Commission, said at Thursday's press briefing. 

Yang noted that in-person school resumption is not mandatory, as students are also allowed to continue studying at home.

Ensuring the safety of students is a priority that we need to consider after school resumption, Yang said.

All campuses will be disinfected beforehand, especially those that were used as temporary quarantine centers for COVID-19 positive cases or contacts, Yang said. These campuses have all been closed and disinfected at least three times, according to Yang. All the disinfection will be finished before May 29, so that the campuses have about one week to be ventilated.

Special nucleic acid sampling and detection working teams have also been established to make sure students take nucleic acid tests before classes are over and get the results on the second day before they go to school.

Teachers and students all need to take a COVID-19 antigen test before going to school and receive a nucleic acid test before leaving school, with temperatures checked twice a day, said the authorities.

The authorities also established emergency plans under which students with abnormal nucleic acid test results will be transferred to a central medical observation site to continue studying online. COVID-19 close contacts will be transferred to special quarantine centers and parents will be allowed to accompany them.

Special rooms will also be arranged for the infected students and close contacts to allow them to participate in the local high school and national college entrance examinations, according to local education authorities.

An English teacher in Shanghai who teaches high school students told the Global Times on Thursday on the condition of anonymity that it would be good for students to go back to school to prepare for the college entrance exams, which were postponed due to the Omicron outbreak

"We have received notices from schools that we should follow self-health monitoring 14 days before classes resume," the teacher said. Teachers are waiting for more details, such as whether students and teachers will be under closed-loop management when they travel from home to school.

The authorities said on Thursday that they are making plans for special-needs students, such as arranging specific vehicles. 

A high school senior surnamed Huang told the Global Times on Thursday that she had seen the news and was waiting for detailed plans.

"I'm still a little nervous about the upcoming exam as I have studied online for over two months," Huang said, noting that she is very glad to take in-person classes before the college entrance examination.

Schools can arrange an event for students to return before the end of the semester, such as a graduation ceremony for fifth-graders of elementary school, said Yang, noting that kindergartens, nurseries and childcare institutions should not arrange such event.

Schools will follow staggered management of students and teachers from different classes in order to prevent cross infections, according to the Shanghai education authorities.