On May 13, Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education and Head of the MOE’s Party Leadership Group and the Leading Group of Work on Responding to the COVID-19 Epidemic, chaired a leading group meeting which pledged to target action on epidemic prevention and control and facilitate the reopening of schools and classes at all levels in education.
The meeting highlighted the major strategic progress achieved over the past month in the nationwide battle against the epidemic and the success obtained in containing the coronavirus in the country. Following MOE guidance, local schools had reinforced health checks on campus and started the phased reopening of classes. Local educational authorities had placed emphasis on moving forward with the full reopening of classes, by establishing precautionary and protective systems, adopting precisely designed personnel screening measures, and delivering quality online education.
The meeting stressed the need to accelerate school reopening while maintaining strict post-lockdown measures during the process, especially in key areas, groups of people, work stages and upcoming events. It also underscored the need to adapt to the new reality with no relaxation in epidemic control, in a bid to prevent a second coronavirus wave and safeguard the hard-earned achievements in the education sector.
The meeting laid out detailed arrangements for the work on responding to the COVID-19. (1) Help local schools to accelerate reopening in a flexible manner. (2) Provide targeted guidance for different groups to bridge gaps in epidemic prevention and control. (3) Improve accountability and give support to professional, standard practices. (4) Mobilize resources to assure sufficient and sustainable provision of related equipment and infrastructure to schools, particularly those with poor working conditions. (5) Offer psychological support as well as learning and employment guidance services to students. (6) Coordinate efforts to priority tasks, including bolstering employment opportunities for new graduates, achieving poverty eradication through education, promoting innovation and development in medical education, and assisting HEIs in research and development projects for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. (7) Improve and complete related institutional mechanisms for the long run, through integrating existing experiences and best practices.