Across China: Chinese students ready to go back to campus
HAIKOU, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Students in the final year of senior and junior high schools in southern China's Hainan Province will begin their new semester on April 7 after a prolonged winter holiday.
All schools preparing to resume classes must have sufficient epidemic prevention supplies and emergency response measures, with about 180,000 students to go back to campus, said Li Yanyi, deputy director of the provincial education department at a press conference on Thursday.
When the other students can return to school will depend on the epidemic situation, said Li, adding that online classes for all students will continue until official opening of schools.
"I felt a little worried about changing my own study plans after going back to school, as I have been well adjusted to online learning," said Wu Jiajia, a graduating student of Qiongshan Middle School in Haikou, capital of Hainan Province.
Most schools across the country have postponed school semesters amid the coronavirus outbreak, and Chinese students have resorted to online courses for nearly two months.
Ma Shuochen, a chemical teacher of Haikou Middle School, said they will resolve the problems students encountered while studying at home and organize practice tests as soon as possible to help graduating students better prepare for the college entrance exam, or Gaokao.
"We also prepared something about epidemic prevention for the first class of the semester," said Ma.
As the coronavirus epidemic has basically been curbed in China, more and more students are embracing their new spring semester.
According to the National Health Commission, no new infections or suspected cases of the novel coronavirus were reported Saturday in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, for the fourth day in a row. The Chinese mainland reported 46 new confirmed cases Saturday, with only one indigenous case.
As of Friday, over 10 provinces and regions across the country have announced dates and arrangements for starting the new semester, most of which put graduating middle and high school students at priority.
Among them, Qinghai, Guizhou and Xinjiang have already resumed classes for some students, while the rest have scheduled reopening schools in late March or early April.
For instance, students in the final year of junior and senior high schools in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will in principle resume classes before March 25.
"I have been thinking about going back to school every morning, as stay-at-home studying is not as efficient as at school. I miss my teachers and classmates," said Chen Yidan, a graduating student at Yinchuan No. 2 High School.
Students' health and safety are still paramount despite the pressing needs to prepare for the Gaokao and senior high school entrance exam, generally known as the two most important exams for students, which are usually held in June.
The Ministry of Education has set three conditions for school resumption, namely, the epidemic is under basic control where the schools are located, schools are capable of epidemic prevention, and safeguarding the health and safety of teachers and students.
"Our head teacher has reminded us to wear masks, do disinfection and take body temperatures when we go to school, and my parents have prepared masks, hand sanitizer and a thermometer for me," said Chen.
Dong Yaping, whose daughter will sit Gaokao this year, said she is confident students will be safe in the school, where each class will be divided into two smaller groups and each dormitory accomodate no more than four boarding students to reduce cross-infection risks.
"My daughter has been moved by the medical workers' stories in the fight against the epidemic and learned to love our country more, which I think is more important than only performing well academically," said Dong.