The Ministry of Education yesterday announced the third phase of school reopenings, which will see all students in the country going back to classes with preventive guidelines and a modified curriculum, given that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet.
In a statement, the ministry said schools all over the country will open from November 2 onwards thanks to the good results of phase one and phase two, after months of closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As with the previous phases, students and teachers will be required to strictly respect and practice the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and existing rules and regulations related to preventing the spread of the virus.
This third phase also comes with changes to school timetables and curriculum.
“All kindergartens and nurseries must resume teaching at all levels for five days per week, and the number of children per class is limited to only 25,” the statement said.
The ministry added that for elementary schools, teaching is allowed for three days a week and five hours per day, with classes focusing on only two subjects: Khmer language and mathematics. The class hours will be the same for secondary schools, where only six subjects will be taught. The number of children per class for both levels is limited to 30.
The ministry will also allow school buses, libraries, physical education, art activities and canteens to resume operations as long as those involved practice SOPs.
Allowing all public schools to reopen is the latest move by the government after the ministry gave the green light to public universities all over the country to reopen earlier this month.
Soy Chompa, 36, a farmer in Takeo province and a mother of three, all of whom are in elementary school, said she is very happy that her children can finally go back to school.
“I have been so worried about their education as they have missed school for months,” she said. “Now they can go back to school, I feel very relieved. I am not worried they might get the virus because I have taught them to protect themselves and I also trust the school authorities in preventing an outbreak at their school.”