Some schools to remain closed until infections ease
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday extended the closure of schools in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan to control coronavirus infections.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA, said the four provinces were listed as dark-red zones for maximum and strict Covid-19 control.
The Education Ministry plans to start the new school term on June 14.
Schools will not reopen in the four provinces, Dr Taweesilp said. Classes will be held online and on television education channels, he said.
Seventeen other provinces are defined as red zones of maximum Covid-19 control. They are Kanchanaburi, Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Yala, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla and Surat Thani.
The management of schools in this zone must seek approval from their provincial communicable disease committee to reopen.
The other 56 provinces are orange zones and their local schools can reopen.
However, schools in red and orange zones are prohibited from organising any activity that would bring together more than 50 people. Schools in these two zones can organise a combination of onsite and online education to suit their needs, Dr Taweesilp said.
Previously, the Bangkok Teacher Club (BTC) petitioned the Education Ministry to postpone school semesters until the Covid-19 situation has subsided.
The petition insisted that the high infection rate makes teaching in schools too risky for students, while speeding up vaccination would not immediately halt the spread of the virus, as the vaccine needs time to build up immunity in people.
The club said an online survey among Bangkok teachers on social media on Saturday showed that about 98% of the teachers agreed to the postponement of the semester, while only 1.45% were against the plan, saying it disrupts children's education.