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Reopening may be delayed to June for schools

The reopening of the new school term may be pushed back again to June 1 if widespread Covid-19 infections remain unchecked, according to the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec).

In its latest announcement on Monday, Obec was reviewing the possibility of the new term being delayed to June 1 from the tentative reopening date of May 17.

Earlier, the Education Ministry insisted primary and high schools will reopen on May 17. However, that was before the third outbreak logged more than 2,000 daily infections nationwide. 

Obec secretary-general Amporn Pinasa said the ministry was keeping a close watch on the pandemic and assessing the situation.

Mr Amporn made the statement as he emerged from a meeting with Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong with the new term opening date dominating the agenda. 

The meeting participants discussed the rising daily infections and were updated on containment measures which include a possible partial lockdown in some provinces and a ban on some interprovincial travel.

In Bangkok, dozens of public places where people usually come into close contact with each other, have been closed.

Classes at cram schools and training establishments were also suspended. 

Mr Amporn said the meeting has agreed to monitor the Covid-19 situation over the next couple of days to see if infections can be brought under control. 

If not, the opening of the new school term will likely be postponed to June 1, which will effectively cause admissions to Prathom 1 (Grade 1) and the entrance exams of Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) and Mathayom 4 (Grade 10) to be deferred as well. 

Last week, Obec announced that the drawing of lots for the admission of Prathom 1 students had been rescheduled for May 2 with the registration of new students set for May 4.

For Mathayom 1, applications will be accepted between April 24-28 and the admission exams to be held on May 6 with exam results to be announced on May 8.

For Mathayom 4, applications are also to be submitted between April 24-28 and the admission exam is set for May 9 with the results to be announced on May 12.

Schools for the disabled have set application submissions for April 24-30 and enrolment for May 15.

“We might have to push the timeline back once again because some provinces have gone into partial lockdown which makes parents and students unable to travel to other provinces for entrance exams,” Mr Amporn said.

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