Education

Cambodia prepares to let get kids back to school after months of shutdown

Bangkok, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- Authorities in Cambodia on Tuesday began preparing to get kids back to schools that will reopen next week with limited-capacity classes after staying shut for months as the country has succeeded in keeping the Covid-19 situation under control with a total of 274 cases and no fatality.

The Cambodian Ministry of Education said in a statement that each classroom would have a maximum of 20 students and measures would be implemented to maintain a safe distance of at least two meters between in the schools scheduled to reopen on Sep.7.

All educational institutes in the East Asian country were closed in mid-March.

The authorities have issued a set of strict guidelines including a safe learning environment, sanitation facilities as well as continuous awareness not only for the students, the teachers, and education staff but also for parents.

There would be temperature checks and hygiene measures in all primary and secondary schools to avoid possible infections.

The guidelines make it mandatory for schools to keep entrances open to avoid congestion and to make sure students standing in line are 1.5 meters apart.

Students will attend school on alternate days and will also study through distance learning, according to the new guidelines.

Cambodian schools have taken the Unesco help since March to create teaching programs to be aired through television channels, social networks, and mobile applications.

However, many school children, mainly in rural areas, have not been able to access distance education due to the lack of television, computers, and smartphones.

The course is scheduled to end at the end of November and the next one is to begin in January 2021, two months later than usual.

Cambodia has managed to keep Covid-19 under control, although its industry, mainly textiles and tourism sectors, has suffered a severe setback due to the fall in exports and the arrival of travelers.

The government also canceled the Cambodian New Year holidays, closed borders, and suspended flights amid allegations that it had not taken measures to cushion the economic impact of the crisis.

The country did not impose strict quarantine measures although it closed schools, museums, bars, and other businesses in March to prevent the outbreak of the virus.

However, given the extremely poor healthcare system in Cambodia, experts say the impact of the epidemic in the country is difficult to determine. EFE-EPA

grc/ht/ssk

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