Anxious Ministry Takes Close Watch as Classes Resume

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Health Measures

Schools around the country resumed regular operating hours. this term was the first time a complete schedule of classes was held.

Students must maintain a record of where they were after school, and send it to their teachers as a mandatory measure against Covid-19 the next morning. The Ministry of Education has instructed schools to collect such reports every day of school.

While the country has been free of local Covid-19 transmissions for more than 70 days and schools are now running as usual, the government says it is taking no risks and has continued to enforce strict steps to prevent the disease from resurging. The emphasis is on keeping schools safe from Covid-19 instead of being hotbeds for the virus, as in some countries has been the case.

Schools have maintained rules on public health monitoring at their grounds, including student and visitor temperature tests. Minister of Education Nataphol Teepsuwan said schools are still studying how to best cope with the epidemic and if a second wave of infections happens, they will still revert to the “new standard” routine that they recently implemented.

The routine, adopted before the normal schedules were resumed yesterday, involved the splitting of classes and the attendance of each group of students on alternative days or week Mr Nataphol said that if a second Covid-19 wave hit, first classes with contaminated students would be closed and the length of the closures would be decided by the local Ministry of Education.

He said the ministry ‘s assessment of school hours and classes would be updated every 5, 7, 10 and 14 days. Schools will be measured against coronavirus by their record. With respect to schools located on the northern frontier, the Ministry has opened quarantine facilities for children from Myanmar and Laos who cross frequently to study in Thailand.

Many of those students stay in Thailand during the week with their relatives and cross over the border to return to their families during the weekend. However, they have been subject to the regular 14-day quarantine since this term started late on July 1, and have since remained in Thailand.

In Bangkok, City Clerk Silpasuay Raweesangsoon said that after regular classes were resumed, City Hall had formed a committee to audit the schools operated by the Bangkok Metropolitan administration.

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