New Challenges With Loosening Restrictions
Particularly in Vietnam, national restrictions are slowly being lifted as the curve flattens. Schools are back in session and travel within Vietnam is possible. However, in Hoi An (a town that relies heavily on tourism), even though restaurants and hotels are allowed to reopen, only about 20% have done so because of the lack of international tourism. While children and students head back to school, many people remain out of work with no income.
Blue Dragon found that out of 165 children, 50 did not initially return to school. 12 children between 12 and 16 years old were married during the emergency period. Other children were sent to work to support their families. School dropout is a concern for GoPhil partners that work with children who were already at risk of dropout before the crisis hit, like Free To Shine.
CEF in Hoi An shared that only 50% of children are allowed in a classroom at one time. Therefore, subjects have been halved and it remains unclear how children will be assessed – hopefully passing rates will be lowered so that children do not fall behind. While children are “back in school,” their educational futures remain uncertain and somewhat precarious.
In Cambodia and Laos, there is talk of schools reopening soon, but no official decision has been made. JWOC team members posed the burning question: If schools are reopened before the economy restarts, how will university students afford the cost of living in the city and return to school without their old jobs?