On February 7, the MOE held a video conference to issue further instructions on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on campuses, to ensure the safety of all students and teachers across the country. Minister of Education Chen Baosheng attended the meeting and delivered a speech.
He first extended sincere thanks to all education institutions for their unrelenting efforts to date in implementing precautionary measures. Noting that schools would face more severe challenges as students were about to return to schools at the end of the winter vacation, he proposed seven stricter measures for the entire education system:
1. Put campus access under strict control. No student was allowed to return to school without permission. People other than students or staff were not to be granted access into the campuses. Students and staff would have their IDs and temperature checked before entering the school gates. Those found to have a fever or cough were to be isolated for medical observation and non-compliance would lead to serious punishment. Campuses were to be divided into different areas for separate management and student apartments be subject to lockdown management.
2. Students were to be monitored and full knowledge collected of their location and physical conditions. Isolated areas were to be set up on university campuses to curb the outbreak.
3. Psychological support was to be provided to students, to ensure their confidence in the victory over the epidemic.
4. Higher education institutions (HEIs) were to organize online teaching and local education authorities to mobilize resources to provide online courses to secondary and primary school students.
5. More support was to be given to relevant HEIs to speed up their research in 2019-nCoV-related technologies for timely application.
6. Circulation was to be improved of the following: central government decisions, education system implementation measures and touching stories of people working at the forefront of the fight against the outbreak.
7. Accountability was to be enforced among school leaders. The ministry was to send inspection teams to check strict local implementation of prevention measures.
The session was chaired by Vice Education Minister Zhong Denghua. Representatives from the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications delivered speeches. Members of the epidemic prevention leading group of the MOE, and leaders of provincial and municipal education authorities and representatives from the HEIs directly affiliated to the MOE attended the meeting at the main and other meeting venues respectively.