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More Kids to Attend Offline Classes

Elementary and middle schools in the capital area will expand real-life classes from June 14. The decision came after the Education Ministry admitted that online classes are not enough to provide adequate education.

Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said Wednesday, “We’re going to let schoolchildren across the country return to class in the second semester.”

Under current lockdown rules, schools in the capital region can only admit one-third of their students at any given time while the rest are studying online. The ratio is two-thirds in high schools. But from June 14 that will be two-thirds at schools of all levels.

The ministry made the decision for fear that youngsters will fall even further behind in their studies and blame online classes.

Children arrive in an elementary school in Seoul on May 17. /Yonhap

As of late May, the proportion of offline classes for middle-schoolers in the capital area stood at a mere 48.3 percent, compared to 67.7 percent in elementary school and 67.2 percent in high school.

The ministry also decided to let vocational high schools admit students every day so that they can get as much hands-on training as possible.

Meanwhile, the ministry pledged to speed up vaccination of teachers and staff in primary and secondary schools, as well as high school seniors ahead of the second semester.

“We’re talking to health authorities so that they can finish inoculating all teachers and school staff by the summer break,” Yoo said. “We’ll also make sure that high school seniors and other potential university entrance exam takers are inoculated by then.”

This year’s entrance exam takes place on Nov. 18.

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