In response to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic in Macao, to protect the health of students, teachers and staffs, and cooperate with the Macao SAR government's overall epidemic prevention work, avoid crowd gathering, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau has announced that the date of class resumption of secondary and primary schools, kindergartens and special education schools, as well as the operation resumption dates of private tutorial centres and continuing education institutions will be postponed. The official resumption schedule for class resumption will be announced at least one week before the resumption.
Actively communicating with the education sector to enable students to learn easily at home
To care about students’ learning needs during the period of class suspension, enable them to maintain good study habits at home, the DSEJ maintains close tie with schools and works hand in hand with schools in implementing the measure of students to study at home. During the implementation of the measure, the DSEJ has held work meetings with education organisations, communicated with the stakeholders, such as school persons-in-charge, teachers and parent associations, etc. by phone and email., initiated a two-way communication mechanism, continuously contacted directly with school persons-in-charge to understand and pay close attention to the implementation of the measure. The DSEJ also issued guidelines to schools to clarify the content that schools arranged for students to study at home; factors such as students’ learning ability, conditions and support equipment at home must be taken into consideration. Besides, there is no need to catch up with the schedule nor arrange new course schedule; the prerequisite is not to increase pressure on teachers, students and parents, and focus on reviewing the knowledge that has been learned.
Comprehensively grasping the opinions of the stakeholders, continuously optimising and improving the measure
The class suspension due to the outbreak of the epidemic coincides with the Spring Festival holiday for schools and teachers, arranging for home study for students during class suspension is a new attempt for some schools and teachers, it is necessary to adjust for several times. Based on the opinions recently collected from various stakeholders, the DSEJ communicated and exchanged with the school persons-in-charge by calling them one by one, followed up each case immediately so as to relieve the concerns of students, parents and teachers. At present, the measure has been continuously optimised and improved, for instance, providing great flexibility in the time limit and the way of submitting assignments, and the learning content is easy and relaxed, as well as focuses on reviewing the knowledge that has been learned. The DSEJ will continue to pay close attention to the implementation of the measure, and continue to optimise the various related supporting work.
Paying attention to the needs of teachers and students, providing support in a timely manner
To assist teachers and students to obtain online teaching and learning resources more conveniently and enable students to study at home easily, the DSEJ has established the thematic web “Joining hands in fighting the epidemic, learning easily at home” （https://portal.dsej.gov.mo/webdsejspace/site/studyarrange/index.jsp）to provide various types of educational videos and the learning platforms and learning tools of different regions, covering teaching videos, documentaries, literary articles and so on, so that even students stay at home, they can study and cultivate their interest; teachers can also select diversified, relaxing and interesting content for students to learn conveniently.
Paying close attention to the needs of tutorial centres and continuing education institutions
Due to the epidemic, many industries, including private tutorial centres and continuing education institutions, have difficulties in their operation. In response to this, the SME Assistance Programme of the Macao SAR Government can help the enterprises overcome the difficulties to a certain extent; if the related institutions need to apply for it, the DSEJ will assist actively. In terms of tutoring services, the tutoring industry closely cooperates with the SAR Government's overall epidemic prevention policy and has suspended the on-site operation. Meanwhile, the DSEJ has been committed to coordinate between parents and the industry on the operation of tutorial centres to seek a solution acceptable to both parties. General speaking, both the tutorial centres and parents have shown a spirit of solidarity, they negotiated, tried to understand each other and go through the difficulties together.
Announcing the arrangement for inter-school competitions and activities in a timely manner depending on the epidemic situation
Due to the epidemic, the nearly 1,400 inter-school competitions and activities in the 2019/2020 academic year may be postponed or cancelled. The DSEJ understands that students have been practicing for a long time and hope to show what they are good at. To this end, the DSEJ has actively communicated with schools, teachers and organisers, depending on the epidemic development and after considering the actual situation of such objective conditions as the date of class resumption, the schedule, venue, professional human resources and so on, the DSEJ will announce the arrangement for postponement or cancellation of the competitions and activities in a timely manner.
It is hoped that schools, teachers, students and parents will continue to cooperate with the epidemic prevention measures of the Macao SAR Government and self-quarantine at home; unless it is necessary, do not go out nor assemble in order to allow the epidemic to be eliminated as soon as possible, so that teachers and students can return to normal school life as soon as possible.