South Korea reopens schools, other countries should take a cue

The fight against coronavirus in South Korea is almost over and schools in the country are now reopening. The success of South Korea may provide a framework for other countries to use while reopening schools.

The global spread of coronavirus led to school shutdowns, and up until now, countries have been indecisive on how to proceed with school reopening. South Korea also faced this dilemma and, in the last three months, struggled with indecisiveness, postponing the reopening of schools a number of times.

However, this is about to change, as the government announced students are expected to return to schools between May 20th to June 1st. The announcement also indicated that the reopenings will be done sequentially to ensure students’ and teachers’ safety is observed.

South Korea fight against coronavirus

South Korea was one of the earliest countries to see a spike of coronavirus cases outside China. They took drastic measures early on and by February, their cases had peaked. This meant the postponement of spring semester reopening in March, meaning students have not attended a single class this year.

In a bid to return things to normal, the governments made plans to reopen schools many times, but with each plan, the cases would spike and they would postpone the reopenings. This has gone on for three consecutive months.

However, the last few weeks have shown signs of optimism, with cases of coronavirus declining significantly. This has resulted in schools and the government taking decisive action and deciding to reopen schools.

School reopenings

The first group to be readmitted back to schools are the seniors who started classes today on May 20th. They were expected to maintain social distancing, hygiene and ensure that they do not have the coronavirus symptoms before being readmitted.

Teachers armored with sanitizers, thermometers and other personal protection equipment (PPE), they observed the students closely to ensure they are adhering to coronavirus prevention guidelines.

Cho Hee-Yeon, superintendent of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, while addressing students at a high school entrance, expressed gratitude for school reopening and students coming. The superintendent continued by urging students to ensure that they help school and government where not only do they need to succeed in their studies, but they also need to take precautionary measures to help defeat the spread of the virus in the country.

The hope, joy and excitement of school reopenings in South Korea can also be implemented in other countries. In fact, many countries are looking at ways on how to proceed with school reopening. The success of South Korea will give other countries a roadmap to use while reopening schools.


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