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Schools across country reopen in third phase

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A student wears a disposable face shield before entering class in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Monday. Hong Menea

Schools across country reopen in third phase

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport highly praised schools for following Covid-19 protocols during the third phase of school reopening throughout the Kingdom.

During a visit to Chea Sim Santhormok High School in Phnom Penh to mark the first day of phase-three reopening on Monday, minister Hang Chuon Naron reiterated his call for all schools to continue implementing the Ministry of Health’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to avert the spread of Covid-19.

“I thank teachers, Phnom Penh municipal and provincial education department officials for contributing to the fight against Covid-19. Although the Covid-19 situation has eased, it requires caution so that studies will go on safely,” he said.

In the third phase, the ministry allows all state and private schools ranging from preschools to high schools to resume studies as normal. The number of students is limited to 25 per classroom.

All public schools can also resume student transport and library services, physical education, artistic activities and canteen services, but are required to carry out SOPs seriously.

Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post that the first day of school reopening during the third phase went as planned. He said the ministry had observed that all state and private schools could carry out the SOPs.

“All schools could prepare classroom environments properly to ensure safety in studies and teaching. All classes were divided into three turns as mandated by the ministry,” he said.

Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (Cita) president Ouk Chhayavy said she had observed that students were happy to be returning to school even though some schools still lack materials to protect against Covid-19.

“What I see is that some schools have sufficient tools like thermometers, while a small number of schools do not meet the standards,” she said.

Chhayavy said all schools in flood-hit areas should allow student absence and provide an easy transition to students during this time.

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