Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said South Korea will begin the new school year with online classes on April 9 following repeated delays due to the novel coronavirus.
He said the unprecedented move to introduce online classes will be applied step by step at schools, without elaborating.
The new school year usually starts in March, but the country had postponed it three times by five weeks to next Monday over concerns of cluster infections of COVID-19.
Chung said online remote classes appear to be a viable alternative for students to learn and for schools to meet the statutory yearly school days.
Survey: More than 13,000 Students in Busan Unable to Do Online Classes
More than 13,000 students in elementary, middle, and high schools in Busan were unable to do online classes according to a recent survey.
Accordingly, the Busan Office of Education decided to provide smart devices and Internet networks to prepare for online classes when school commences.
According to the Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education, a survey was carried out to check the status of smart devices (smartphones, tablet PCs) for remote classes and Internet (wireless network) connections ahead of online classes which are to begin this month.
As a result of the survey, 11,808 students do not have smart devices to access online classes and 1,331 students did not have internet access.
This means the students without smart devices or internet connections were unable to take classes in various online classes conducted by the education office in the past month.
The education office plans to support these students by lending them smart devices and installing internet networks so that they can access online classes.
An official from the education office, Kwon Seok-tae said the education office will provide firm support so that all students can have access to online classes ahead of commencing the spring semester for schools.