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Parents are like sitting on fire because their children have not gone to school

HanoiReading the news “preschool children, grades 1-6 go to school directly from April 1”, Ms. Nhai was as happy as opening the flag but was disappointed immediately after, because it turned out that this was an announcement from Ha Nam.

From the end of April 2021, when her five-year-old son had to stay home due to the epidemic, 27-year-old Nguyen Thanh Nhai also took time off work to take care of the children. Almost a year has passed, and she is “fever all over” when the city has not yet announced plans to return to school for preschool children. Her son, along with some 140,000 five-year-olds in Hanoi, face the possibility of not going to school a day for the whole school year.

“The time at home is too long, I just play, watch TV, the time is reversed. Because I have little contact with friends, don’t see the teacher, I become shy and afraid to study,” Ms. Nhai said.

Not wanting to register her child for a pre-primary class, the mother bought the alphabet and numbers to teach her child at home. But every time he was called to his desk, he cried. “I just want my child to be able to recognize words and get used to sitting and studying for about 30 minutes. I am very afraid that when I enter grade 1, my child who is not yet literate will not be able to keep up with you”, the mother expressed.

Many parents in Hanoi are still concerned about the high risk of Covid-19 infection when going back to school. But Ms. Nhai said that, for young children, spiritual life is very important. If this is 2020, she fully supports children at home because at that time “Covid-19 was still too scary”. But according to her, when she decided to live together, the city opened many areas of activity, it is unreasonable to keep children at home.

“Festivals, pedestrian streets are back to work, airlines are not accepting international visitors. But schools are still closed. I don’t understand this anti-epidemic view, because children on the street have the same risk of infection as when going to school, even more,” said Ms.

Every day, she goes online to read newspapers and look for information about schools reopening. Once, surfing the information “preschool children, grades 1-6 go to school directly from April 1”, Ms. Jasmine was as happy as opening the flag but was disappointed as soon as she discovered her mistake. It turned out that this was Ha Nam’s announcement.

Nhai's son learned to draw on TV during the days at home to avoid the epidemic.  Photo: Provided by parents

Nhai’s son learns to draw from TV during the days at home to avoid the epidemic. Photo: Parents provide

Nguyen Mai Trang, 31, also has a 4-year-old daughter at home for the past year. From being very bold after going to school for a while, now I am shy, always clinging to my mother when going down to the playground. Ms. Trang realizes the serious effects on psychology and discipline when her children do not have regular contact with teachers and friends at school.

As an elementary school English teacher, she had to ask the school to create the conditions to teach online as little as possible because she could not both take care of the children and teach at the same time, nor could she hire a maid because of her limited budget. In the near future, if primary school goes to school but kindergarten is still closed, she does not know how to teach and take care of children at the same time. “I just hope these two grades can go back to school in April and come back at the same time so there won’t be any more trouble. A year at home is too tiring,” she said.

In Hanoi, by the end of March, more than 99% of the 660,000 children aged 12-17 (grades 7-12) had received two doses of the vaccine. Children in the group will be able to return to school directly from February 8.

Meanwhile, about 950,000 students in grades 1-6 and 600,000 preschool children (who have not been vaccinated) continue to study online or stay at home. In the first three weeks of February, elementary and sixth grade students in the suburbs of Hanoi were allowed to return to school, but then had to stop because the number of infections increased rapidly. This group of students living in the inner city with preschool children have been at home since the end of April 2021.

Similar impatience, but some parents are more cautious, want their children to be vaccinated before returning to school.

Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nguyen Binh Khiem – Cau Giay Education System, said that there are still parents who are afraid, even though they all expect their children to go to school soon. Therefore, the school’s biggest wish at the moment is that the vaccination plan for 5 to 11 year olds be accelerated, complete the first dose in April so that students can be picked up in early May. “One month is coming. The school was also very precious, even though it was probably only at that time to review and test the semester,” said Mr. Hoa.

On April 2, schools in Hanoi were directed to survey and collect parents’ opinions on sending children to school directly and report data to the Department of Education and Training before April 4. This is the basis for the City to refer to and decide on the return date of the group of children from kindergarten to grade 6.

Earlier, at a meeting on the prevention and control of Covid-19 in Hanoi on March 28, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung said that “Yes. can be vaccinated It is only safe to send children to school, if there is a Covid-19 infection, it will be mild and reduce the risk.”

But Ms. Hoa asked the question, “If parents do not agree to vaccinate, or the vaccination rate does not reach a certain number, should the child continue to stay at home?”.

Duong Tam – Thanh Hang

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