China: Students resume classes in Wuhan where coronavirus broke out to the world


As countries across continents in the world still experience the COVID-19 lockdown paralysing activities, high school student have resumed classes in Wuhan, the sprawling capital of central China’s Hubei Province, where the dreaded novel coronavirus broke out to the world.

On Wednesday, about 57,800 students in their final year from 121 high and vocational schools returned to campus in Wuhan, China’s commercial centre divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers and a city previously hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wearing uniforms and masks, students at Hubei Wuchang Experimental High School had their temperatures taken and hands disinfected before entering their classrooms while maintaining a one-meter distance from their classmates.

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Xinhua quoting Ai Jianhong, the school’s Party secretary, all students, teachers and staff had passed nucleic acid testing. Meanwhile, four rounds of disinfection across the campus, including classrooms, dormitories, canteens and offices had been carried out.

An observation area, with one doctor and one nurse on shift, was also set up in the school.

“If any students develop a fever, cough, or feel uncomfortable, they will be sent to the area immediately for medical examination and epidemiological investigation,” Ai added.

Chen Shufei, a senior student changed the number of days left in the countdown to the national college entrance examination at the front of the classroom from “138” to “62.”

When Chen began her winter holiday on Jan. 20, the 18-year-old did not expect it would be for so long.

“I’m both excited and nervous to be back on campus, and I hope I can re-adjust as soon as possible and enter my dream university,” said Chen. She aspires to study at Wuhan University.

High schools in Wuhan have divided every class into two mini-classes with no more than 30 students each.

“We have upgraded the whiteboard system. Students in classroom B can listen to their teacher’s voice and watch PowerPoint courseware in classroom A synchronously. And those who cannot get to school can also join the course online,” said Ai.

At Wuhan No. 2 High School, a psychological guidance book on trauma alleviation was distributed to each student on their first day back.

Instead of dining in canteens, students had boxed meals delivered to them in their classrooms. A few schools even arranged for some students to eat at tables set up outside classrooms to ensure social distancing during lunch.

The spring semester in Wuhan, which had been scheduled to begin on Feb. 10, was postponed for over 100 days due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Students in the city resorted to online classes during the prolonged break. The final-year senior high school students were among the first batch to begin online courses on Feb. 1.

“I am very excited today. In the past few months, I could only listen to my students and look at their faces via videos. Now I can finally get along with them face to face,” said Li Wanju, head teacher of Chen’s class.

“I hope students can protect themselves against the virus. I also hope that everyone cherishes the hard-won opportunity to study hard and achieve good results in the upcoming college entrance examination,” Li said.

Affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s national college entrance exam has been postponed by one month to July 7 and 8. Enditem