August will finally see the reopening of schools which has been shuttered for months now.

The Education Ministry said that it is in the process of re-opening schools, after more than three month of shutdown as part of the effort to combat COVID-19.

Other Education officers meanwhile told Khmer Times on conditions of confidentiality that about 15 ‘high-quality’ private international schools, including Japanese, English, American and French institutes, with approximately 20,000 students will be allowed to reopen first as a test case.

Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told Khmer Times today that the process will be divided into three phases based on health safety standards of the schools.

“The first phase will include schools with high safety standards [preventive measures against the virus spread],” Mr Soveacha said. “The second phase will focus on schools with moderate standards and the third will be schools with minimum standards. Each class must have not more than 15 students and social distancing must be strictly enforced and other areas where contact may take place, must also be eliminated.”

Mr Soveacha added the Ministry of Education is working with all relevant parties, especially the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on the re-opening based on health measures and socio-economic factors.

“In the near future, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will announce the timeline of and necessary measures for the first phase to the public,” he said, adding that the timelines for the second and third stages depend on the effectiveness of the first stage.

“The ministry will carefully analyse the first stage and then go on to analyse the second and third stages, based on plans which the ministry will make with relevant ministries and institutions,” Mr Soveacha added.