Non-tertiary education classes to resume no later than 20 April

It was expected that non-tertiary education classes would resume no later than 20 April, based on an assessment of the public health situation regarding disease control in Macao and neighbouring cities, said the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ms Ao Ieong U.

There would be special arrangements for Form 6 students. A current plan was to allow them to return to school at the end of March on a voluntary basis, so they can prepare for university admission, said Ms Ao Ieong.

The Secretary was speaking to reporters on Tuesday (10 March). She stated the Government had arrived at those decisions based on updated strategies to prevent and control COVID-19 – the illness relating to a novel coronavirus. The updated approach was due to the fact only a few new COVID-19 cases had been recently reported in Guangdong Province, all involving infection imported from other countries.

In particular, the Government had been monitoring closely developments relating to COVID-19 in neighbouring cities, including Zhuhai and Zhongshan, she said. Those two cities in Guangdong Province had a number of students who would ordinarily travel across the Guangdong-Macao boundary in order to attend schools in Macao.

Zhongshan and Zhuhai had respectively gone 20 consecutive days and 21 consecutive days with no new cases of infection, Ms Ao Ieong noted. Zhuhai had also seen its last COVID-19 patient discharged from hospital on Tuesday, said Ms Ao Ieong.

In addition, the Secretary stated that the schedule for resuming tertiary-education classes would depend on the COVID-19 situation across the country as a whole. There were approximately 500 students from Hubei Province registered for study in Macao, and a further 18,000 students from other places on the mainland.

The Government also planned to resume – in phases – education for kindergarten students, said Ms Ao Ieong.

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