Schools start classes again in China’s Qinghai province

08:05 PM | 12 Mar, 2020
Schools start classes again in China’s Qinghai province

BEIJING – Classes resumed at some schools in China’s Qinghai province and more provinces are expected to follow suit next week as the novel coronavirus outbreak is brought under control.

Qinghai’s provincial government said its senior high schools and secondary vocational schools had been given the green light to resume classes this week, with junior middle schools to be allowed to reopen next week, China Daily reported on Thursday.

The province’s colleges and universities, including vocational colleges, started e-learning classes on March 1 in accordance with Ministry of Education regulations, the government said in a statement issued on February 28, adding that the starting date for the new semester for primary schools, special education schools and kindergartens had yet to be decided.

Students are required to have their temperature checked every day, maintain a distance of one meter from each other, and each is given a new face mask every second day.

Ma Kyimotso, a member of the Tibetan ethnic group who studies at the school, said she was very excited about the resumption of classes, despite enduring an adventurous journey along mountain roads in heavy snow to get there.

Yang Fayu, deputy head of the provincial Education Department, said it had inspected 144 schools since March 6, and so far they had all met the standards required to resume classes.

“Every corner of the schools is disinfected regularly,” said Yang, adding that more than 1,000 medical workers have been dispatched to schools to conduct public health tasks such as teaching epidemic prevention knowledge and skills, disinfecting areas and checking body temperatures every day.

To ensure schools can reopen safely, the provincial Industry and Information Technology Department has been distributing epidemic prevention supplies, including protective gear.

In Guizhou province, Grade 3 classes at senior high and junior middle schools are expected to start the new semester by Monday, along with some schools in Jiangsu province.

The spring semester in the Tibet autonomous region will start by March 20.

In big cities like Beijing, which are at greater risk from imported cases of infection, schools have been told to stick to e-learning at home.

By Sunday, five provinces and autonomous regions and Macao had been declared clear of novel coronavirus infections.

All infected patients in Anhui, Fujian and Qinghai provinces, and in the Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and Macao have recovered and were discharged from hospitals.