Thailand's International Schools Reopen

International schools in Thailand will reopen from Monday, June 15 with new health and safety measures in place.
Thailand's International Schools Reopen
By Carli Allan
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After being closed for three months, international schools in Thailand can open their campuses from June 15. The government has announced that students can return to campus in a phased reopening. Local schools run by the Thai Ministry of Education are expected to open nationwide from July 1.

International schools, many of which end their 2019-20 academic year in this month, can resume primary and secondary classes in several phases from Monday. Schools must first submit their class resumption plans to the government's Office of the Private Education Commission for approval.

Campuses in Thailand have been closed since March 18, and international schools have switched to distance learning programmes. 

How will schools in Thailand reopen?

Schools will only be allowed to reopen once new health and safety measures are in place, and we can expect schools to follow the below guidelines.

Deep cleaning
School campuses must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Masks 
All staff and students will have to wear a mask on school buses and while on campus, except when eating and drinking.

Social distancing
Students should sit in single rows with a 'face to back' layout of desks in the classroom, and they should be well spaced during break times and all class activities. Signage and floor markings, including one-way systems, will help children adhere to social distancing around campus.

Staggered timetables
Timetables will be staggered to ensure that students do not all enter and leave school at the same time.

Temperature checks
Schools should ask parents to check their child's temperature before going to school, and there should be temperature checks at the school gate for anyone entering the campus. There will also be shoe disinfectant trays and hand sanitiser sprays at the school gates.

Student wellbeing
Schools must educate students on the importance of hand-washing and personal hygiene. 

Reporting confirmed cases of Covid-19
Schools must inform the government if any staff or student is confirmed to have Covid-19 or has been in close contact with an infected person. Also, all students must complete a Travel and Health Declaration form before being allowed back onto campus.

Schools to reopen include Wellington College International School, Bangkok (WCIB) where classrooms will be set up with a minimum of 1.5m between seats and all students facing the same way (not facing each other).

All staff and students at WCIB must wash their hands with soap and water once an hour, and there will be a one-way system in corridors and stairways to keep distance between students. EYFS and KS1 students will use distancing ropes to ensure that they have their own space to use, and all PE lessons will take place on the track and field to ensure distancing. 

Some international schools such as International School Bangkok have already finished their academic year, so students will not now return until August for the 2020-21 year. And there are some international schools offering on-campus summer programmes. Bangkok International Preparatory School, for examples, is running a Bangkok Prep Term 4 Summer Programme 2020 free of charge to its students, which will include a "comprehensive programme of activities during July 2020".

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