A boy takes an online class at his home in Shanghai on March 12, 2022. [Photo/chinanews.com.cn]

Classes at school excluded for primary and secondary students in the city

Shanghai resident Ge Yuan took her young daughter, a first-grader, to work this week, where she sat at a nearby desk and used an iPad to take online lessons.

With COVID-19 outbreaks now affecting 28 provincial-level regions, many places have moved classes for primary and secondary students online and strictly limited the movement of staff and goods on college campuses to ensure safety. students and teachers.

Wang Dengfeng, director of the Department of Physical, Health and Art Education of the Ministry of Education, said more than 10 provincial-level regions have reported COVID-19 cases in educational institutions.

The ministry will ensure that all COVID-19 prevention and control measures are strictly implemented, he said, and contingency plans are implemented promptly in the event of an outbreak.

Shanghai’s education authority said on Friday that all primary and secondary school students would start online classes the next day.

As Ge and her husband both have to work and no relatives are available to take care of her daughter, she has to take her to work.

“My colleagues are very understanding and supportive, and she finds the online courses very new and interesting because it’s the first time she’s taken such courses,” Ge said.

For each 40-minute lesson, her daughter watches a pre-recorded lesson for more than 10 minutes and then has live interactions with the teachers, she said.

“I support the decision to hold online classes because no parent wants their child to be infected with COVID-19 at school,” she said. “My only concern is that his eyesight might get worse from staring at the screen for too long.”

Shanghai high school student Liu Yanming began taking online classes from home on Monday, accompanied by his father, a university professor who is also participating in virtual classes.

Liu said he was no stranger to online classes as he spent the entire spring semester studying online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teachers also know very well how to organize online lessons and the lessons run smoothly, he said, adding that he can also get up a little later and does not have to wear a school uniform. .

Her mother, Xie Feng, said online classes are the “lesser of two evils”. Although in-person teaching can be dangerous at the moment, she said that in the absence of teacher supervision, she caught her son playing games and browsing the internet while taking lessons. in line.

Students at many universities in Shanghai, who are not allowed to leave their campuses due to COVID-19 lockdowns, have resorted to music to spice up their quarantine lives.

According to a video released Monday by the University of Shanghai, two graduate students played the patriotic tune My Homeland on a violin and viola on the balcony of a school dormitory to support the university’s containment efforts.

A student mini-concert on a dormitory balcony was also held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Sunday night.

Jilin University in northeast China’s Jilin Province, the region hardest hit by the current outbreak, started online classes for all students on March 9. The university has cordoned off its campus, with only essential epidemic containment workers allowed to enter.

The university provided free meals to students and ensured that students and teachers had enough basic necessities, according to a WeChat message from the university.

Students posted photos and videos of meals provided by the university on social media platforms, praising its thoughtfulness and caring. The hashtag “Dear students, we’ll make sure you have enough food” has become a trending topic on the Sina Weibo microblogging platform, being viewed over 110 million times.