Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron has introduced additional measures for schools that are being used as quarantine centres, especially schools in the provinces bordering Thailand and Vietnam, to ensure education for every student in the new academic year.
In three border provinces – Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey – 42 schools are being used as quarantine centres, according to a top education department official.
The additional measures were introduced in a meeting chaired by Chuon Naron on January 14. Some of the measures include inspecting and consolidating educational institutions to enable students to attend school.
Affected provinces must conduct a study and submit a proposal to the education ministry for review.
The minister also requested authorities in border provinces to take additional measures to manage and monitor migrants.
Banteay Meanchey provincial education department director Chhou Bunroeung said that in his province, 16 schools are currently being used as quarantine centres including eight high schools, four primary schools, and four kindergartens with around 13,000 students being impacted.
“We’ve reduced the impact by moving the students whose schools are being used for quarantine to other schools nearby,” he said.
According to Bunroeung, the students whose schools are being used as quarantine centres could not attend school on January 11, the opening day of the school year, but there was only a one-week delay to arrange for those students to transfer to another school.
Oddar Meanchey provincial education department director Pech Ratana said students in the 15 schools that were being used as quarantine centres in his province were also transferred to other schools.
“We’ve allocated additional study time to them. In addition, we also allocated more time for distance learning students and distributed additional study materials to them,” he said.
Battambang Provincial Administration spokesman Soeum Bunrith said there are currently 11 schools in the province that are being used as quarantine centres and that the province has also moved their affected students to different schools.
“[We] have met the department of education to divide up the students who are from the schools being used as quarantine centres and send them to other schools in a nearby village or commune. The children are studying in shifts in the morning and the evening,” he said.
Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said that during the 2020-21 school year the ministry will continue to work to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 by requiring students to be educated about Covid-19 prevention measures and good health practices.
“In general, students have to follow a short curriculum that uses multiple learning approaches – students study in the classroom as well as through distance learning and self-study accompanied by worksheets and brief lessons. Everyone must continue to strictly implement the existing health safety measures,” he said.
According to Soveacha, as of January 13 the provinces where schools are being used as quarantine centres are Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Pursat, Kampot and Tbong Khmum.
“A total of 41 schools are being used as quarantine centres including 24 secondary schools and 12 primary schools,” he added.