BMA new normal schools, safe and far away from COVID-19

COVID-19 brings about seismic changes in economy, society, and ways of life, including teaching and learning at schools. Teachers and students in COVID-19 era have to adjust themselves and be ready for the new normal of teaching and learning activity.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) issued the BMA Announcement to extend the temporary closure of facilities of its affiliated schools until January 31st, 2021 and, during that period, teaching and learning were conducted online to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The BMA has been trying to improve and development various channels to have close communication with students and parents such as the use of LINE application and Facebook. For example, each classroom has LINE group chat which is a main channel for teachers, parents, and students to communicate and update information. This channel is also used for giving assignments, homework, quizzes and exercises. Parents can inquire for more information and to keep track of children’s educational progress via this channel. In this regard, the BMA has always received good cooperation from parents and students.

In terms of study time calculation and academic evaluation that are the main concerns of parents, the BMA have issued guidelines on study time calculation, make up classes that students need to attend to replace one that they have missed, and graduation approval in Academic Year 2020, as well as on educational evaluation and assessment of learning outcomes of BMA affiliated schools in the situation of COVID-19 outbreak. All BMA affiliated schools will be notified of and follow these guidelines and quickly make sure that parents also understand the guidelines in order to relieve their worry and anxiety. Another important thing is the guideline for Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) for Grade 6 and 12 students in Academic Year 2020. For the BMA affiliated schools, it is a personal right of each student to decide whether to have a test or not, it is voluntary not compulsory.

Regardless of this or other outbreak, parents can be assured that the 437 BMA affiliated schools in 50 districts are ready to welcome all students with love, care, and safety with the following 8 main measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Temperature testing and screening for students, teachers, school personnel, parents, and all visitors.
  2. Requirement to have everyone register via application specified by the Government.
  3. Requirement to have everyone wear surgical face mask at all times while in school premise.
  4. Provision of handwashing stations or handwashing points with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  5. In case that any students or parents have risk history by having close contact with patient, they must implement quarantine for 14 days.
  6. In case that any students are at risk of disease exposure or suspected of having COVID-19 and meet the criteria of patient under investigation, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Emergency Medical Service Center (Erawan Center) under the BMA Medical Service Department or Public Health Center in the locality will be informed to conduct disease investigation.
  7. In case that any students are absent from school in order to have self-observation at home, school will provide appropriate teaching and learning methods that best suit the situation.
  8. School will rapidly give advice to all parents to avoid bringing their children to risk areas and to provide updated and reliable news and information on COVID-19 situation.