Parents urged to be confident in students’ safety as schools reopen
Emergency plans have been prepared to gain parents' confidence in student safety as more and more schools reopen, the Education, Interior and Public Health ministries said.
Their remarks came during a seminar titled “Three ministries have confidence in on-site classes and ready to use emergency plans anytime” at the Education Ministry on Wednesday.
Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong said related agencies are putting a lot of effort into ensuring that students are able to study safely at schools amid the Covid-19 crisis by vaccinating both teachers and students, among other measures.
She explained that 99 per cent of teachers nationwide have received their first jabs and more than 80 per cent have got a second jab. Meanwhile, over 80 per cent of students aged 12-17 have been fully vaccinated.
“We would like to ask parents to be confident in students’ safety as schools that have been allowed to reopen must strictly undergo Public Health Ministry measures to contain the spread of Covid-19,” she said.
Education Ministry permanent secretary Suphat Champatong said 79 per cent of schools in 40 provinces have been reopened. He expects schools in the other 37 provinces to reopen as well.
Suphat went on to say that 2.57 million children aged 5-11 in 61 provinces are ready to receive their Covid-19 jabs, accounting for 61 per cent of the 5,381,431 children nationwide.
“I believe more parents will allow their children to receive jabs,” he added.
Office of the Basic Education Commission secretary-general Amporn Pinasa said five types of classes have been organised in the past two years – on-site, on-air, online, on-demand, and on hand.
He explained there are safety guidelines for on-site classes, which are divided into two groups: schools that have not been reopened since November 1 last year and schools that have already been reopened but will be closed soon.
“Schools that have not been reopened and have passed the criteria can submit a request to their Educational Service Area Office and Provincial Education Office for consideration. They can restart on-site classes on receiving approval,” Amporn said.
“Schools that have not passed the criteria must improve until they meet the criteria as students’ safety is the first priority,” he added.
Department of Disease Control director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong asked parents not to panic over school reopenings as "Covid-19 would become endemic soon".
He confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children and medical staff will conduct a vaccination drive based on vaccine efficiency and safety.
“Of 10 million [orange cap] Pfizer doses, 300,000 will be delivered to Thailand weekly,” he said. “The Public Health Ministry will allocate vaccines to educational institutes to vaccinate Pratom 1-6 students, starting with Pratom 6,” Opas added.