Ministry: Schools not resuming until outbreak under control

Schools won't resume until local authorities put the COVID-19 outbreak under control and roll out necessary containment measures on campus, a Ministry of Education official had said.

Wang Dengfeng, director of the ministry's working group on epidemic control, said local authorities shall consult experts before reopening schools, and safety of the faculty members should be ensured.

Resumption would be prioritized for the graduating classes in middle and high school, as they were supposed to sit for the high school or college entrance examination in about 80 days, he was quoted as saying by China Central Television.

Wang said that the ministry is seeking advice from related departments as well as representatives of students and parents on whether to postpone the college entrance exams and the decisions will be made soon, and local authorities are entitled to decide whether to postpone the exam for high school candidates.

Wang didn't rule out the possibility that school authorities could make up for the missed lessons using weekends, adding schools should decide depending on their respective situations.

Colleges would be reopened later when the epidemic is securely under control, as more than 10 million college students are expected to travel across provinces and another 30 million would travel across cities for the new semester, he said.

Local authorities should formulate emergency plans for potential cluster infections on campus and report to authorities higher up, he added.