Vietnamese schools to host school opening ceremonies online 

5th September every year is a monumental day for every Vietnamese student. Not only does it mark the official beginning of a new school year, but it also sees the long-anticipated reunion of classmates after a 3-month summer holiday. 

However, to abide by the government’s social distancing measures to curb the COVID-19 spread, most Vietnamese students will have to attend the ceremonies from home this year. 

Schools in Vietnam’s high-risk areas to host online school opening ceremonies 

Vietnam new school year opening_Saigon
A new school year opening ceremony in a high school in Saigon
Image credit: Bao Giao Thong

Due to the complexity of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam’s Ministry of Education is coming up with different ways to host school opening ceremonies safely for students. 

Because each school has hundreds to thousands of students, it’s impossible to maintain safe distancing measures when all of them show up in the same place at the same time. 

Vietnam new school year opening_Hanoi
A new school year opening ceremony in Hanoi’s Chu Van An School
Image credit: CAND

“For high-risk areas where it is compulsory to practice citywide social distancing measures, the students’ safety must be of utmost priority,” said Mr Nguyen Xuan Thanh, head of the High School Education Department.  

He added, “In case when it’s not safe for students and faculties to join physical school opening ceremonies, schools can consider hosting the ceremonies online.”

Vietnam new school year opening_online
What online attendance of new school year opening ceremonies might look like
Image adapted from: Hoàng Anh Lee

The online ceremonies can be short but still packed with key activities to make the day meaningful, such as welcome speeches from the deans and words of encouragement for both students and teachers. Students can participate by delivering their speeches or performances to their teachers and classmates from home. 

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City schools are considering to scale down this year’s event by allowing only class presidents to attend the ceremonies in person.

Vietnamese primary school teachers need support from parents in online teaching

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, most Vietnamese students will likely go back to online learning as the new school year begins. 

Online learning will cause a lot of inconvenience for students, especially 1st graders who have not mastered the fundamentals of math or the Vietnamese language. 

Vietnam school opening_primary teachers
Image adapted from:

Since primary school students require more individual attention to catch up on school, many primary teachers fear that online learning is not enough to close the achievement gap and help them catch up with the rest. What works for one student might not work for all, and it’s not easy to help students who fall behind their peers through a computer screen.

Vietnam school opening_online learning
Image credit: Vi Thu Thao

Therefore, many teachers have called for cooperation from parents in online learning, such as enforcing discipline and making sure that they do their homework

While online learning has grown more popular in many Vietnamese schools since the first coronavirus wave, teachers in remote areas are not onboard with this learning solution. 

In remote areas where a majority of residents are from lower-income backgrounds, very few students can afford to have computers, smartphones, or Internet connections to access online learning. 

For this reason, continuing with education during the COVID-19 pandemic remains a puzzle for teachers and students in Vietnam’s remote areas. 

Vietnamese students might attend school opening ceremonies from home

With a daily rise in community cases, Vietnam is still at a critical point in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it’s important that we go on with our daily life routines with safety precautions. 

Not being able to attend school opening ceremonies may be disappointing for students because this meaningful event happens only once a year, but we should put public safety as our number one priority. As much as possible, we nevertheless hope that our students will hit the ground running with joy, motivation, and finish the new school year strong. 

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Cover image adapted from: Ton Duc Thang University and The New Crew Vietnam

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