One week after Hanoi authorities adjusted school hours in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion in the capital city, they have tweaked it again in response to objections from parents and teachers.
The Hanoi People's Committee on Wednesday (February 8) sent an urgent note directing high schools to start their school day at 7 a.m. and end it at 6 p.m. from February 13.
The city government also asked the Department of Education and Training to direct kindergartens, primary schools and junior high schools to "adjust their timetables in a flexible way" within the time frame of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The decision was made after the committee received strong criticism from residents unhappy with a recent regulation adjusting work and school hours in 12 districts.
Under the regulation effective February 1, morning classes for high schools and colleges began at 7.00 a.m. and ended at 12.00 p.m., while afternoon sessions began at 2:30 p.m. and ended at 7 p.m. Previously, the timings were 7-7:30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
State office workers and students from kindergarten to junior high school now have their days begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
Trading centers and other services, excluding financial and banking offices, operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Other groups, including factories and the military, retain their current working hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
According to city residents, the new school timing has badly affected the health of high school students since they have to wake up early and go back home very late.
They said it was an ordeal for students to leave school as late as 7 p.m. and wake up early the following morning, especially in winter.
Parents complained they had to wait for another hour after work to pick up their children at school following this adjustment.