Schools tentatively set to reopen as normal on August 13th

Students have their temperatures checked and receive hand sanitiser to disinfect their hands as they arrive at the Makkasan Phitthaya government secondary school in Bangkok on July 1, 2020, as schools reopened after being temporarily closed due to the threat of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. – Children across Thailand, some of whom have been kept at home under self-quarantine by their parents due to coronavirus fears, have now returned to their classrooms as all schools reopen in the country, though authorities recommended that class sizes be restricted to 20-25 students while doorknobs, desks and other areas at risk of spreading infection be sanitised frequently throughout the day. (Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

A panel of the CCSA has agreed to allow schools to reopen as normal, tentatively on August 13th, without the need for social distancing, but students will be required to keep a daily record of where they go after school.

The Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) proposed the normal reopening of 4,500 schools under its supervision to the CCSA, now that the COVID-19 situation in Thailand has improved, without a single case of local infection for more than two months.

During the easing of lockdown measures, the schools were partially reopened, with students attending classes on alternate days or weeks, to reduce congestion in classes.

Education Minister Nuttapol Teepsuwan, who attended the meeting of the CCSA panel, said that they have confidence in the management of public safety by Thai medical professionals.
He reminded teachers, students and their parents of the need for the students to keep daily records of their whereabouts after school.

Regarding the teaching format and content, Mr. Nuttapol said that, because of the unusual circumstances, they need to be adjusted so that the time students are in classrooms is kept to a minimum.

The Education Minister noted that, since the normal reopening of the schools, as approved by the CCSA panel, is a trial, it does not need the formal approval of the CCSA, just the consent of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, expected on Monday.

Because of the unequal access to online teaching and unequal teaching and learning opportunities, Mr. Nuttapol said that uniform learning assessment cannot be applied to all schools and the Education Ministry must work out an appropriate assessment system.



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