SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) — South Korea is geared up for its third phase of school reopening Wednesday, but parents and educators alike still have a low level of confidence for a return to school.
Since May 20, the government has run the phased school reopening program, first with 440,000 high school seniors and second with 2.37 million students in other year groups, including kindergartners.
Under the third phase of the plan, first-year high school students, second-year middle school students and third- and fourth-year elementary school students are set to return to school. The total number amounts to 1.78 million.
By Wednesday, 4.59 million, about 77 percent of the total South Korean school kids, will be attending in-person classes.
According to top educational officials, the reopening is inevitable at a time when a great deal of uncertainty over COVID-19 is holding back normal life activities, including those of students.
They believe staying at home and learning through virtual classes are just not enough for the mental and intellectual development of young Koreans.
But infection cases have been consistently reported at schools, cram schools and business establishments frequently visited by students.
On Friday, a high school senior in the southern port city of Busan tested positive for COVID-19. Two days later, a second-year elementary school student in Anyang, a suburb of