For Elementary, middle, and high schools, the number of school days will increase in the second semester of this year, compared to the first semester due to a change in the criteria of limiting the number of students allowed at a school to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Education announced on Friday that the criteria to calculate student density at a school will change from “per day” to “per time period” in the second semester. For example, a school with 900 students that was only allowed to accept 600 students – or two-thirds of total students – per day in the first semester will only need to keep the number of students at school during a given time period under 600 in the second semester. This means that every student can attend school every day if morning and afternoon classes are offered separately. Given some practical issues, including how to manage teachers’ working hours and disease prevention measures, such a scenario may not be feasible. However, the number of school days is likely to increase from the first semester. Detailed class plans are subject to each schools’ discretion.
The Ministry of Education has also developed other guidelines for running classes as per the current level of social distancing required. Less than two-thirds of students in the level 1, less than one-third in the level 2 (less than two-thirds for high school students), and 100 percent in the level 3 will have to either take classes remotely or temporarily suspend from going to school. The restriction imposed on Seoul and the nearby region, as well as Gwangju, in which only one-third of students are allowed in at school at the moment, will be eased to two-thirds of students in the second semester.
“Considering the efficiency of classes and the need for disease control measures, providing classes either consecutively or biweekly will be recommended to schools, rather than every other day,” said a member of the ministry. “The actual plans for running classes may be decided by the education offices of each city and province and schools.”
Woo-Sun Lim firstname.lastname@example.org