A third of schools reopen at start of the second semester

A third of schools reopen at start of the second semester

Most students still waiting for 2nd jab

Students sit apart in their classroom at Triamwitpattana School in Bangkok on their first day back at school on Monday, after months of online learning due to the pandemic. Varuth Hirunyatheb
Students sit apart in their classroom at Triamwitpattana School in Bangkok on their first day back at school on Monday, after months of online learning due to the pandemic. Varuth Hirunyatheb

About 34% of public schools nationwide resumed onsite learning on the first school day of the second semester on Monday.

Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong revealed that around 12,000 out of 35,000 schools welcomed students back on Monday after a long period of learning at home due to Covid-19, while several more will reopen their doors on Nov 15.

Ms Treenuch said the ministry had not set a target for how many schools should resume onsite learning, and it is up to the readiness of each institution.

As for the response measures to Covid-19 transmission in schools, she said the ministry was against full school closures, if new infections in schools are found, as it preferred milder measures such as suspending classes linked to the infections.

"Covid-19 will be around for a while and it is time for us to adjust and live with it," she said.

Meanwhile, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Monday disclosed that 437 schools run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have still to resume onsite learning, because not enough of their students had received a second vaccination.

He said those in Matthayom 1-3 will get their second shot on Nov 6-8 and, as they are advised to look out for side-effects for seven days, the BMA will assess the situation again on Nov 15.

"The BMA will decide again how much we can resume onsite classes. For the time being when inoculation programme isn't complete, the students will continue with online learning," he said.

Dr Apisamai Srirungson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said students do not need to be regularly tested for Covid-19.

She said weekly screenings are not required and rapid tests using antigen test kits are recommended for when students are exposed to infection risks.

"If family members test positive, students are advised to take a test and stay home for 14 days. Schools will need to talk to parents about their Covid-19 control measures," she said, before saying with the measures in place, schools may not need to close when infections are detected.

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