Hanoi, HCMC Extend School Closures

School closures in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi have been extended again.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

All international and local schools in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) will now stay closed until April 5. Hanoi has extend its school closures until March 30 or further notice.

The Departments of Education in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have decided to keep all schools closed due to fears over the spreading COVID-19. There have been 28 new cases of the virus over the past week, including five in Hanoi and one in HCMC. Students have not returned to school since the Tet break, meaning that they will have have missed at least 10 weeks of learning on-campus. 

During the closure period, international schools in HCMC are using various methods of home and online learning to minimise disruption to their students’ education, such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Meets and Zoom for online lessons, stories, instructional videos, sing-along assemblies, music sessions, and much more.

The students most affected by the ongoing closures are those studying international curricula exams including IGCSEs, A Levels and the IBDP. These students sit their final exams in April, May and June, and have coursework deadlines from March onwards.

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has extended coursework deadlines to help ease some of the pressure on senior students. There is no indication that the IBO and UK boards for IGCSEs and A Levels will delay the exam schedule for these students.

However, Ofqual , which regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, has issued this statement:

"We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Our advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.

"We continue to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education and we have met to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

"It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible."

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