Seoul education office issues guidelines for school reopening

SEOUL,  Seoul educational authorities announced guidelines for school operations on Monday, as the country prepares to reopen schools with new coronavirus infections slowing down.

In a phased reopening plan, high school seniors will return to school on Wednesday and younger students will follow gradually until June 8.

Schools delayed the start of the new semester set for early March and have been offering online classes since last month.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education issued a set of recommendations on detailed measures for distancing and sanitation.

It suggested schools switch between classroom and distance teaching for all levels of students, except high school seniors. The office said schools will be allowed to choose from diverse options on how to divide classes.

Parents of elementary students will be allowed to conduct home schooling for up to 34 days.

The guidelines require schools to take the temperature of all students and teachers twice a day. If any coronavirus case occurs, that school will be closed and classes will move online.

The office has installed thermal imaging cameras in all 1,366 schools in the city except kindergartens.

It has distributed five facial masks per student and three per school staff member.

For a week before returning to school, students are required to check their health conditions and report them to schools every day.

The office also recommended schools stagger lunch time while having students sit in one direction and apart from each other to minimize their contacts.

The education office plans to deploy personnel to schools to support the enforcement of the safety guidelines.

Source: Yonhap News Agency