Taskforce Moves Forward with Assessments for Reopening Schools in Laos

Laos to Vaccinate Final Year Secondary School Students
School students in Laos (Photo: Xinhua)

The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has issued guidelines for the assessment of schools in Laos hoping to reopen amid the pandemic.

The notice states that while the reopening of schools is of the utmost importance, it must be done safely following proper assessment by authorities.

According to the notice, the Taskforce is to determine ten measures and 40 recommendations for the safe reopening of schools. An assessment committee is to coordinate with relevant authorities to undertake an assessment of educational institutions to ensure safe reopening.

The committee will assess safety measures and preparations made on the part of the school, and will work with parents and guardians to decide if the school may reopen.

Schools will be authorized to reopen after achieving 70 percent compliance with the new Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

Schools that fail to remain compliant with 70% of virus-prevention measures will need to be reevaluated in accordance with the scale of community spread in their locality, as well as the capacity of the healthcare system at the time.

Authorities will begin piloting the reopening of schools in Vientiane Capital before expanding to other provinces with community-affected outbreaks.

The evaluation of educational institutions must not discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to the Taskforce.

At the same time, relevant sectors must ensure teaching and learning can occur in a way that is appropriate for families who do not want to send their children to school or for children who are experiencing health issues.

Authorities have noted that as the spread of the virus continues, prolonged school closures are having a negative impact on children’s education as well as limiting their educational, emotional, and developmental opportunities.

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