In response to the epidemic development of the novel coronavirus infection in Macao, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau has been maintaining close communication with the health department, education organisations and persons-in-charge of schools to actively formulate a plan for class resumption.
Preliminary proposed class resumption date
Due to the recent gradual ease of the epidemic, as of 10th March, there has been no new case in Macao for 35 consecutive days, and patients of the 10 confirmed cases have recovered and been discharged from hospital. In neighbouring Guangdong Province, there are only sporadic imported cases. In both Zhuhai and Zhongshan, there is no new case for over 20 consecutive days. According to the prediction of the health department, it is difficult to have no new case at all globally. The society needs to resume operations in an organised manner; otherwise the normal life of residents will be affected. For the epidemic prevention, it is most important that teachers and students implement various measures of epidemic prevention properly, and health education is strengthened.
Under the circumstances that the current epidemic is generally stable, the DSEJ formulates a plan for class resumption of non-tertiary education schools. It is expected that classes will be resumed no later than 20th April. The DSEJ actively studies the feasibility of class resumption in stages. If the epidemic continues to be stable, specific class resumption date will be confirmed at the end of March to enable schools to make early preparations. In addition, it is not ruled out that the class resumption date will be adjusted due to changes in the situation of epidemic and with reference to the opinions of the health department.
Taking care of the needs of Form 6 students
It is considered that some Form 6 students who will enter university this year may really need academic guidance in the short term. Besides, since the epidemic has become stable recently and there is only a limited number of Form 6 students, the DSEJ will strive to allow Form 6 students to go back to school at their will on 30th March so that they can do necessary revision and prepare for university entrance examinations. However, schools need to follow the relevant guidelines of the health department, e.g. measure body temperature, wear a face mask, keep a distance of at least 1 metre from each other, clean and disinfect the campus and classrooms. Moreover, teachers and students have not left Macao for 14 days before the date of returning to school, the cross-border teachers and students have only stayed in Macao, Zhuhai or Zhongshan in the past 14 days; they have not been to other regions.
Actively carrying out preparation for resumption of classes and enrolment
To prepare for the resumption of classes, the DSEJ has formulated relevant guidelines on campus cleaning and class resumption arrangements. Schools are requested to carry out preparation work such as implementing hygiene regulations and epidemic prevention measures, planning curriculum and teaching as well as after-school academic support. The DSEJ again calls on teachers and students who are outside Macao to come back to Macao to prepare for class resumption as soon as possible, except for the cross-border teachers and students who live in Zhuhai or Zhongshan. After class resumption, parents can apply for authorised absence in accordance with the epidemic development and the needs of the student; school should handle such applications flexibly.
As for the enrolment of the academic year 2020/2021, the DSEJ will arrange the interview schedules for admission to kindergarten in accordance with the date of class resumption of non-tertiary education and the opinions of the health department. Based on the current situation, it is expected that the interviews will start in May. At the same time, the DSEJ will communicate with schools, requesting them to extend the interview period to reduce the gathering of crowd. Besides, the DSEJ will suggest schools take protection and sanitation measures to ensure that the admission arrangements for young children in September will not be affected.
As always, the DSEJ will keep communication with all stakeholders in the education sector to ensure the smooth implementation of class resumption and enrolment.View gallery