Students take part in a flag-raising ceremony at Beijing No. 2 Experimental Primary School in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 1, 2020. Students in Beijing kicked off a new school year on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)
Chinese students are returning to schools nationwide for the autumn semester, the latest development that manifests China's successful endeavor in containing the COVID-19 outbreak. As everyday social life in the country regains vitality at an accelerated pace, it heralds great hope for a world still marred with uncertainties.
Ensuring safety is a vital prerequisite for the reopening of schools. The government's decision to recommence schools is based on the country's strategic achievements in anti-epidemic efforts and the confidence that resuming on-site classes will not trigger a fresh wave of the outbreak.
When parents send their wards to schools, they pin their hope on the school management. Parents should have reasons to believe that schools are competent to fend off the risk of infection. And the schools have indeed risen to the expectations of parents. Campuses have adopted foolproof and precise epidemic control and prevention measures, such as staggering school openings, checking students' temperatures regularly, offering contact-free hand-washing equipment, and deploying trained anti-epidemic personnel to mitigate any emergencies, among others.
Children across the country had experienced a unique period during the country's fight against COVID-19 when all Chinese people stood in solidarity. Witnessing incredible feats of the Chinese people as they worked together and undauntedly faced challenges, the younger lot will have a deeper understanding of what the country means to them. It will further instill pride for the nation among youths eliciting their commitment to the nation's goal of rejuvenation.
When the flag-raising ceremony is held at each school on the first day of the new semester, it will not only mark a new start for hundreds of thousands of students but will also be a clarion for the society to march toward the future with greater confidence and new vigor.
The legacy of the fight against the epidemic is remarkable: better parenthood after spending almost the entire semester together, a self-study experience that will benefit long-term development and improve expertise in using technology for online education, and most importantly, a strong spirit of solidarity, courage, optimism and unconquerable determination amid hardship.
When parents start a new day at work, knowing that their children are well-protected at school, they will be filled with a sense of assurance living in this land where life is a top priority. It is a fundamental source of confidence for China's economic recovery, restoration of social order and the pursuit of a better life.
However, the reopening of schools does not imply the threat to health has been vanquished, and it should not be inferred as an excuse to let the guards down. As health experts noted, COVID-19 may continue to coexist with humans for a long time in the future. Nevertheless, the progress made us believe that with determination, perseverance and concerted efforts, the course of the future can be changed, ultimately leading to a global victory.