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Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

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The first stage is to reopen higher-standard schools. Medium-standard schools is next and finally minimum-standard schools. Heng Chivoan

Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday.

Soveacha said the first stage will be to reopen the higher-standard schools. Medium-standard schools will be next and finally minimum-standard schools.

“The ministry has been collaborating with the ministries of Health and Economy and Finance, to discuss wellbeing and socio-economic factors,” he said.

Soveacha said his ministry would inform the public about the dates and closely monitor the first stage before proceeding to the second and third stages.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19, held a meeting with Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron to float the idea of gradually reopening schools in steps.

On July 2, the health ministry posted on Facebook: “The meeting was to review the possibility of gradually reopening some of the higher-standard international educational institutions. But the institutions must adhere to key principles in line with ministry measures to ensure against the spread Covid-19.”

Chuon Naron said in a June 22 press conference that his ministry already has a strategy to reopen the schools.

He said this will start with high-standard schools. But overcrowded ones, with students not able to comply with the Ministry of Health and WHO guidelines, will not be reopened.

There are three million general education students, said Chuon Naron, but only about 1.5 million of them have access to digital learning services. The other 1.5 million students depend on textbooks, he said.

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