Vietnamese students’ creative anti-coronavirus solutions


Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, it’s imperative that we remain vigilant by taking preventive measures because we are not out of the woods yet.

For this reason, safety measures schools across Vietnam are ramped up to keep community transmission of COVID-19 at bay as students return to their classes – many with creative solutions on top of the guidelines put in place. 


Different types of masks worn by students


In compliance with the mandatory regulations on safety in school, students have to wear masks to class.

Vietnamese students
Image credit: Trường Người Ta

For students in Ho Chi Minh City, the People’s Committee has pledged to provide 9 free masks to each student, which means 3 masks for each month from now onwards till the end of July.

However, students are free to choose what kind of masks they want to wear, which led to many wearing ninja masks, full face masks that only reveal their eye, in colorfully patterned fabric, or even gas masks to school.

Vietnamese student
Image credit: Trường Người Ta


Why creative solutions are required


Even though wearing masks in public has been compulsory for the past few months, it presents new difficulties when a student has to wear a mask for the entire duration of the school day.

Wearing masks continuously for a long period of time, say, 2 or 3 hours, can cause respiratory distress. It’s even more challenging when one has to communicate verbally when wearing them.

Plus, classrooms have not been allowed to use air-conditioning as mandated by authorities, because that may increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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Image credit: Michael Kong

 In a post on a Facebook group Học sinh TP. Hồ Chí Minh that has garnered over 1,000 likes at the time of writing, Michael Kong, a student in Ho Chi Minh City shared his struggles on his first day back in school.

“It’s summertime and the heat is peaking, around 38-39°C. The school does not allow students to turn on the air-cons, so the classroom is very hot. I attend classes in the morning and still find the heat intolerable, let alone those who go to afternoon class,” said Michael Kong in his post.

He added, “Apart from harsh weather, students also have to wear masks in class: it’s very hot and hard to breathe. When I removed the mask for just a second trying to breathe, I was asked to put it back on immediately. I feel bad for students who wear glasses with masks on while riding motorcycles or bicycles. It’s very dangerous for them, as their breath tends to blur the glasses and affect their vision.”


Dividers installed between desks


Vietnamese schoolImage credit: Chuong

Some schools put up dividers on the desks while others arranged the desks to have a 1-2-m gap in order to minimize community transmission and obey social distancing guidelines.

To prevent students from feeling isolated, some schools even used transparent plastic for the dividers so students can still see each other while keeping to safety guidelines.

Vietnamese student
Transparent dividers on tables in a school canteen
Image credit: Trường Người Ta


Funny anti-coronavirus solutions by Vietnamese schools and students


While it’s challenging to adjust to returning to school with safety measures in place, the schools and students have managed it with a smile on their faces, and with creative solutions. The good news now is that the Ministry of Education has lifted the rule on wearing masks in classes.

The updated guidelines say that students only have to wear masks when outside the classrooms. The air-conditioning can also be switched on, but must be switched off and windows have to be opened to ventilate the classrooms at the end of each lesson.

Hopefully, the relaxation of safety rules will make it easier for students to adapt to their return to school, study better, and achieve good results in the upcoming exams. 

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Cover image adapted from: Trường Người Ta

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