Teachers at Eonnam Elementary School in southern Seoul set up protective plastic shields on classroom desks before the start of the 2021 academic semester. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Young students across South Korea will return to the classroom on Tuesday for the start of the spring semester.
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures currently in place to prevent the spread of infections, students in Grade 3 through high school will continue with hybrid learning -- switching off between in-person classes and virtual sessions from home.
The exceptions to this model are children in first and second grades, who will attend school Monday through Friday, as part of efforts to mitigate learning loss due to the pandemic.
Similarly, the education ministry said high school seniors can also attend school daily as they are in urgent need of academic and career counseling.
Special schools and small rural schools, meanwhile, have the autonomy to decide whether students can return to regular school attendance.
Under the current Level 2 social distancing scheme for Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province, schools should generally limit attendance at one-third capacity, while schools under Level 1.5 distancing follow a two-thirds cap.
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