Students and teachers face a very different start of term at the beginning of the coming academic year due to Covid-19.
Macao’s Education and Youth Development Bureau has ordered non-tertiary (recurrent, special, pre-primary, primary and secondary) education students, teachers and other school staff to return to their residence in Macao, Zhuhai or Zhongshan 14 days before the start of classes.
Hundreds of students enrolled in local schools live in the cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan in Guangdong province.
Students returning from outside Guangdong after 6 August must complete their nucleic acid test (NAT) within five days before the start of school. They also must present their health code indicating a negative NAT result.
Students, teachers and other staff members of higher tertiary education institutions will temporarily switch to online teaching in the new academic year.
Once in-class teaching is resumed, they must return to their residence in Macao, Zhuhai or Zhongshan 14 days prior to resuming classes or work in Macao.
Those who return from outside Guangdong after 6 August must complete their NAT within five days before the start of in-class lessons. They must also present their health code indicating a negative NAT result when returning to campus for study or work.
Education and Youth Development Bureau Deputy Director Kong Chi Meng said that the special Covid-19 control and prevention measures for the new academic year aim to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers, as some of them have visited the mainland or returned to their hometowns during the summer holiday. He noted that more areas in the mainland have been classified as medium- or high-risk for Covid-19 by the National Health Commission.
In the 2020/21 academic year, Macao had 119,611 non-tertiary and 39,093 higher education students enrolled in 71 non-tertiary education institutions and 10 higher education establishments. Students account for nearly one-quarter of the population.