The start of the fall semester as scheduled in late August and September, with schools across China reopening and students resuming normal study in classrooms on campus, is the latest sign of the success in containing the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
September 7 marked 23 consecutive days of zero locally transmitted cases in China. Work and production resumption progressed steadily, paving the way for resuming normal campus education in autumn.
However, since the pandemic is still spreading in many parts of the world, it has created severe pressure to prevent infected arrivals from abroad. Also, medical experts have warned that the risk of a resurgence remains high in fall and winter, which is also the flu season. So the education sector faces the pressing task of ensuring safety in schools.
All schools, in line with their conditions, are taking measures to ensure both epidemic prevention and normal education activities.
The fight against the epidemic has created a remarkable legacy. In the spring semester, schools had switched to online classes first. Then as the disease came under control, about 75 percent of China's 280 million students returned to school. Thanks to the strict measures taken, there were no infections on campus.
The trend of online classes will improve the expertise to use technology for online education and benefit long-term development. But most importantly, the specter of COVID-19 has also created a strong spirit of solidarity, courage, optimism and determination amid hardship.
The school-going generations, who have witnessed heroic acts by people from different sectors of society who worked together fearlessly and selflessly to cope with COVID-19, will have a deeper understanding of responsibility and their duty toward the nation. It will encourage them to be part of the nation's development when they grow up.
From an even bigger perspective, as daily life in China regains vitality, it brings hope for a world still mired in uncertainties. As health experts have said, COVID-19 may continue to coexist with humans for a long time in the future. While the reopening of schools does not imply the threat to health has been conquered, nevertheless, the progress shows that with determination and concerted efforts, the course of the future can be changed, ultimately leading to a global victory over the virus.
(Printed Edition Title: A Fresh Start)