Heads of many universities in Ho Chi Minh City, especially medical and pharmacy, on March 6 sought the People’s Committee’s approval to reopen on March 16 after six weeks of closure due to COVID-19 epidemic.
A medical official disinfects Huynh Thuc Khang High School in Nghe An province’s Vinh city.
Speaking at a meeting with the city’s authorities to discuss strengthening of measures to prevent the disease, Tran Diep Tuan, Rector of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said his students have the required knowledge and skills to control diseases and this is a chance for them to acquire experience.
They could in fact serve as reserve personnel if the city lacks adequate doctors and nurses in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
He said the Department of Health should instruct hospitals to take in medicine and pharmacy students now for them to acquire practical experience.
Ngo Minh Xuan, Rector of Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, said his students wanted to contribute to controlling diseases.
“The existing online courses only teach them theory. They need practical lessons at hospitals.”
Huynh Thanh Dat, President of the Vietnam National University-HCM City (VNUHCM), which has a School of Medicine, concurred with Xuan and Tuan that students should return to school.
But students of VNUHCM’s member universities in other streams should not return yet since many live in dormitories and could cause an epidemic, he said.
Do Van Dung, Rector of the HCM City University of Technology and Education, said that weather in HCM City is favourable for controlling COVID-19. “We should reopen schools on March 16,” he said.
Otherwise, universities would have difficulty paying salaries since they are financially autonomous and depend on students’ tuition fees.
Le Thanh Liem, Standing Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the administration was carefully considering when to reopen schools. The city’s leaders would hold another meeting on March 6 to make a final decision, he said.
“We also want students to return to school, but we have to be careful for the sake of their safety since the COVID-19 outbreak is widespread.
“If schools reopen and a single student contracts COVID-19, that school will have to close and we need to think about how to isolate its students.”
The city Department of Education and Training has changed the schedule for second semester tests, delaying them by two weeks to May 18-June 6.
The secondary school graduation examination will be postponed by nearly a month from May 26 to June 23./.VNA
As many as 60 out of 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam have decided to further delay reopening of kindergartens, primary and junior secondary schools until March 17.