(ATTN: ADDS comments in paras 4, 9)
SEJONG, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s education ministry on Sunday said it will ease attendance caps for schools after health authorities decided to enforce the lowest level of social distancing measures.
Schools around the nation are required to operate with antivirus limits amid the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, attendance is capped at one-third in elementary and middle schools, and two-thirds in high schools.
But starting Oct. 19, the attendance cap for all schools will be set at two-thirds, Seoul’s education ministry said.
“The number of virus-infected students and teachers has gone down sharply this month and has shown a stable trend,” said Education Minister Yoo Eun-hye. “With prolonged remote learning, there have been requests to expand in-person classes to reduce the learning gap between students.”
The latest move is in line with health authorities’ decision to lower the country’s social distancing scheme to Level 1 from Monday in the three-tier system.
Schools that have small classroom populations and are located in regions with relatively small virus caseloads can further ease the cap to accommodate more students, the ministry said. However, schools in the greater Seoul area and have big classroom population are strictly required to follow the cap.
The ministry said schools can decide their class operation schedules depending on their situation, and can