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Back to school – Thai school kids head back to class

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PHOTO: Kon La Na

School’s back. Thai school children are returning to their classes in school rooms around the country to be re-united with their teachers who have been just a thumbnail on a Zoom conference call for the past three months. The reopening of schools is nationwide, for all levels of public and private schools. Since mid-March, all schools in Thailand have been closed for classes as part of the government’s efforts to battle the coronavirus.

One foreign English teacher, we’ll call him ‘James’, teaches at a large public school in southern Thailand. He told The Thaiger that he’s even more excited about getting back to school than the students.

“I’m very excited on my first day at school after the lockdown as we start the new normal schedule. Our school is conducting an odd/even numbers system. The students are given random numbers and the odd numbers come one day and the students with even numbers on another.”

“The teachers on the gate were making sure that all the students are healthy and are taking preventive measures by checking the body temperature, providing hand sanitisers and making sure everyone is wearing a mask. All the teachers are making sure that the children are maintaining social distancing.”

“There are signs all over the school reminding about preventive measures to take during this Covid-19 era. We’re all hoping this ‘new normal’ will end soon and all the students can come to school together to study, and play with each other soon.”

At the start of June, when Thailand started easing restrictions, teachers were asked to come back to many of the country’s schools to prepare for the resumption of classes. Many had been doing online classes from home but have spent the last month continuing online classes from the schools and helping prepare the classrooms.

Floors of schools around the country will have new social distance markings and hand washing stations have been set up.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce is working with with manufacturers of school uniforms and back-to-school supplies to control prices and ease expenses during the economic recession. The program is aimed to assist up to 10.4 million families.

The ‘Back to School’ campaign is aimed at parents of school aged kids to reduce the cost of living as schools resume from today. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy PM and Minister of Commerce, says his ministry has spoken to manufacturers of school uniforms and school supplies to help reduce their product prices until July 15.

“The products will be sold at department stores nationwide. The campaign offers a discount of up to 80 percent on many items.”

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