High and middle school students in Shanghai and Beijing have returned to class on Monday after the closure of schools for three months, a measure taken to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
In Shanghai, students queued outside the school’s entrance with marks at a one-metre distance on the ground to maintain social distancing.
They also had to pass through a thermal detector before seeing their classmates again.
A 15-year old student, Xu Sijun said: “Actually, the pandemic has impacted us. But it has affected everyone. Studying at home actually is up to your own self-discipline. You need to look at yourself and see if you are self-disciplined. If you are not, then studying at home won’t be effective. Then, you will be scared of upcoming tests.”
Although the city has not reported any new domestic cases for a while, parents still had some apprehension about the change. Some were happy with the measures being taken which included assigned seating and plastic shields. Others were not so confident.
Also, 43-year-old parent of student, Sun Zhiping said: “I am only worried about the development of the epidemic when school reopens – nothing else to worry about. After all, children are still very young and they know nothing about hygiene. They need some guidance from teachers.”
“Generally I am happy – not worrying so much. I think the school prepared sufficiently. It had parent meetings in advance. Teachers had detailed plans in place two weeks ago. This is way beyond any parent’s expectation. So I am not that concerned about this part,” another 47-year-old parent of student, Sha Li said.
According to Shanghai’s education commission, schools will make preparations to resume classes for other grades before May 6th, with the specific timing to be announced by each school.
Shanghai is still dealing with imported cases of the virus, including 303 new ones as of the end of Sunday.