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(4.7) Regular Briefing of Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on COVID-19

  • Date : 2020-04-08
  • Hit : 1982

(4.7) Regular Briefing of Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on COVID-19

- ▲Preparations for online school opening, ▲measures to enhance infection prevention and control in private academies, and ▲stricter inspections on facilities with risk of group transmission, etc. -

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters held a meeting today presided over by Head Chung Sekyun (Prime Minister) along with the central government and 17 cities and provinces to discuss ▲preparations for online school opening, ▲measures to enhance infection prevention and control in private academies, and ▲stricter inspections on facilities with risk of group transmission, and etc. at a conference room of 1-dong, Government Complex Sejong.

□ Head Chung said, at the meeting, that school opening with online classes is a new challenge, adding that we can no longer push back providing education for students even though there would be many difficulties. The Prime Minister requested city and provincial Offices of Education and the local governments to work together to take on the challenge with a sense of responsibility.

○ He also said that if we passionately and enthusiastically work together with positive mindset, we are going to obtain meaningful outcomes such as narrowing the digital divide and enhancing the digital literacy of the public, requesting to put utmost effort to bring better outcomes beyond expectation.

1. Preparations for online school opening

□ In response to the prolonged COVID-19, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters plans to gradually open online schools to minimize students’ learning gap and stably support school operation. In regard to this, it also reviewed preparations for practically applying distance learning.

※ (Online school opening schedule) Seniors in middle/high schools (Apr. 9), 1st and 2nd graders in middle/high schools, 4th~6th graders in elementary schools (Apr. 16), 1st~3rd graders in elementary schools (Apr. 20)

Renting smart devices and supporting Internet

□ (Smart device) The government plans to support smart devices and the Internet for students from low income households to prevent information gap from leading to the educational gap. To this end, it plans to secure and send a total of 332,000 smart devices according to the school opening schedule.

○ As there may be differences in the number of devices each city, province, and school possesses, a variety of measures are currently reviewed. For instance, schools will procure or rent devices first and then receive budget support, or request cooperation from the local governments and public agencies as shown in donation cases of Seodaemun-gu Office and Suwon City Hall.

□ (Support for Internet) Data is to be provided free of charge (~May 31) for distance learning contents (EBS, etc*) and the Internet bill is also supported for those eligible for education benefits.

* EBS, digital textbooks, E-edunet (cyber learning system), Scienceall, Entry, Career net

Information-oriented environment, platform and contents

□ All classrooms nationwide have allowed access to commercial sites for supporting remote learning, and the wireless internet routes and apparatus (webcam, pin mic, etc) necessary for distance learning are also to be supported.

□ As for platforms and contents for distance learning, public and private resources plan to be utilized together.

○ E-edunet and EBS online class, which are public platforms, are to be prepared to allow 3 million students to access at the same time while support will be provided to use various private platforms such as Naver Line Works and Google Glass.

○ Around 90,000 public contents are already secured and the cooperation is underway to additionally obtain different private contents.

* 43,000 EBS contents, 134 types of digital textbooks, 5,500 contents on E-edunet, government-published/authorized textbooks (469 types), 40,000 contents on Edunet, etc.

Support for [lower elementary school grades, children of double-income families]

□ Elementary school students in lower grades (1st and 2nd graders) will be provided with various EBS broadcast contents so that they can take remote lessons without smart devices and receive learning packages composed of various learning materials for different remote learning classes in consideration of students’ levels.

□ Students participating in emergency childcare, such as those from double-income households, will take remote classes and caring altogether at computer rooms in schools.

Support customized to [high school seniors, vocational high school students]

□ For seniors of high schools, one-on-one online counseling will be offered through their homeroom teachers and career counselors to help them prepare for their careers, university admission, and university entrance exam.

□ Vocational high school students will take major subjects and theoretical classes through online learning and focus on practical classes after attending school by using the intensive course-taking.

[On-site support] On-site support after online school opening

□ In order to solve problems in the field after starting online school, the authorities plan to strengthen communication with the field by using various methods such as listening to difficulties in the field through communication channels and spreading best practices.

* Gathering voices over challenges through community (with 10,000 members) and spreading best practices, operating distance learning Q&A bulletin board on the Ministry of Education website, and operating help center of the education ministry and each city/provincial office of education

□ In addition, the government announced that it plans to secure public trust by providing accurate and prompt information through regular briefings to minimize public anxiety caused by remote classes.

2. Measures to enhance infection prevention and control in private academies

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters continuously recommends closing of private educational institutes (hagwon, etc.) and strengthens on-site inspections to thoroughly prevent and control infection.

○ The Ministry of Education and the Offices of Education continue to carry out joint quarantine inspections which were already conducted on 57.8% (73,340) of all private cram schools across the nation (126,872).

○ Students and instructors who have a family member returning from abroad have also been instructed to stop going to school/work for 2 weeks (Mar. 30~) and each city and provincial Office of Education was requested to establish and install a reporting center for quarantine violation (Apr. 3~) to further enhance infection prevention and control in private academies.

□ When private cram schools located in areas designating them as “operation restricted businesses” fail to correct matters pointed out according to the quarantine inspection results, stricter follow-up measures may proceed including operation suspension ordered by a head of local government and claim for damages especially in case a secondary infection takes place in accordance with the extended stronger social distancing.

○ In addition, the authorities shared special support cases such as provision of subsidy (KRW 1 million) for closed private educational institutes in Dobong-gu, Seoul, Incheon City Office of Education distributing fever checkers to private academies, and special vocational support for lecturers in private academies in Jeonju City, saying they expect different kinds of support measures to be widely used to prevent infection in private educational institutes.

3. Plan to support non-face-to-face, online religious activities

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said although the need for non-face-to-face religious activities has further grown with the stronger social distancing extended for two more weeks until April 19,

○ some small and medium-sized religious groups have complained technical difficulties in the process of providing non-face-to-face religious gatherings. So the headquarters released that it will support online religious activities from April 8 to the end of May, and has temporarily permitted religious activities while riding in a vehicle through low-power radio station from April 3.

Support for online religious activities

□ The government will guide technical methods for smartphone-based video filming and transmission to small and medium-sized religious groups with less than 200 members facing difficulties in online religious activities, and support data and communication environment required for them.

○ △Manuals for internet live video platform such as Kakao TV, Naver Band Live will be developed, distributed, and instructed, △sufficient data required to transmit videos will be provided for 2 months by the end of May for one line used to transmit videos of each religious group, and △each group can transmit videos by using LTE and Wi-Fi. However, in case it is requested to install 5G indoor (in-building) network, such support will be provided focusing on sites whose landlords agree with the installation.

Support for religious activities while riding in a car

□ As a support for the social distancing of non-face-to-face religious activities, a low power radio station will be temporarily permitted for religious activities while in a car.

○ The government will draw appropriate outputs and frequencies that can be used without interference in a specific area, and will prepare and implement standards for permission (frequency, output, etc) suitable for religious activities while remaining in a car.

4. Stricter inspections on facilities (clubs, etc) with risk of group transmission

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters will further strengthen and implement on-site inspections of entertainment venues with high risk of group transmission to implement the enhanced social distancing.

○ Over the last two weeks of the strict social distancing, the authorities investigated 30,380 entertainment facilities including clubs nationwide.

- 7,315 businesses were given administrative guidance and 43 were issued administrative orders in breach of infection prevention and control rules.

○ From this week, the existing inspection will be further strengthened from inspection of sanitation officers to a joint inspection with police officers and consumer food sanitation supervisors involved. Also, the government plans to focus its inspections on nightclubs, entertainment bars, dance clubs between 11 pm and 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

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