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AP PHOTOS: Preparing to welcome back Thai preschoolers

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 30/06/2020 By GEMUNU AMARASINGHE, Associated Press
Numcha Then, a three-year old child of a migrant Myanmar parents, reacts to her teacher Sure Etsy Tianmanee as she receives a meal in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak,  teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Numcha Then, a three-year old child of a migrant Myanmar parents, reacts to her teacher Sure Etsy Tianmanee as she receives a meal in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

BANGKOK (AP) — For the past month, Darunee Khedkhow has arrived at Bangkok's Makkasan community preschool at 8 a.m. each weekday, just as she has done for most of her past 12 years as a teacher.

Ratthaphon Datwong, 6, smilies as she receives meals for her and her neighbors from her teacher Kanyarat Phuankuntod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Ratthaphon Datwong, 6, smilies as she receives meals for her and her neighbors from her teacher Kanyarat Phuankuntod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

But it has hardly been business as usual for Darunee and her 13 fellow teachers.

Children of Makkasan preschool walk after receiving meals from their teachers in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, June 19, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Children of Makkasan preschool walk after receiving meals from their teachers in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, June 19, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Since mid-March, the Makkasan preschool — like all schools in Thailand — has been closed for classes as part of the government's efforts to battle the coronavirus.

Katsane Sattapitak tastes a meal she is cooking for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak,  teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Katsane Sattapitak tastes a meal she is cooking for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

At the start of June, when Thailand eased coronavirus restrictions, teachers were asked to come back to school to prepare for the resumption of classes, which will take place this week.

Darunee Khedkhow, right and Jariya Saekean, teachers of Makkasan preschool, walk along a railway line to deliver meals in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak,  teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Darunee Khedkhow, right and Jariya Saekean, teachers of Makkasan preschool, walk along a railway line to deliver meals in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

So on Wednesday, young children will return to the Makkasan preschool for the first time since the pandemic prompted the government to close schools, as well as daycare and child development centers. The reopening of schools is nationwide, for all levels of public and private schools.

Katsane Sattapitak stands by a window as she cooks meals for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen, constructed on a swamp adjoining a canal, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak,  teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Katsane Sattapitak stands by a window as she cooks meals for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen, constructed on a swamp adjoining a canal, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Over the past month, the Makkasan teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in the local community, sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals.

Katsane Sattapitak, right, cooks for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen, constructed on a swamp adjoining a canal, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The school with 100 students, aged 2-6 years serves an improvised community sandwiched between a railway line and an urban canal, including children of migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Katsane Sattapitak, right, cooks for school children at Makkasan preschool kitchen, constructed on a swamp adjoining a canal, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The school with 100 students, aged 2-6 years serves an improvised community sandwiched between a railway line and an urban canal, including children of migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

“When we deliver food, our students tell us they miss school, they want to come back,” Darunee said.

Teachers of Makkasan preschool pack meals for delivery at the school in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Teachers of Makkasan preschool pack meals for delivery at the school in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The teachers are preparing to welcome students back to a school where many of the routines will be different from before. Students and teachers will be required to wear face masks, the floors will have social distancing markings and hand washing stations will be set up.

Teachers of Makkasan preschool, from right, Sure Etsy Tianmanee, Katsane Sattapitak, Darunee Khedkhow and Jariya Saekean, walk along a canal pulling carts with meals for delivery Friday, June 19, 2020, in Bangkok, Thailand. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) © Provided by Associated Press Teachers of Makkasan preschool, from right, Sure Etsy Tianmanee, Katsane Sattapitak, Darunee Khedkhow and Jariya Saekean, walk along a canal pulling carts with meals for delivery Friday, June 19, 2020, in Bangkok, Thailand. During the third month that schools remained closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, teachers have cooked meals, assembled food parcels and distributed them to families in this community sandwiched between an old railway line and a khlong, one of Bangkok’s urban canals. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The teachers, many of whom are from the local community, are eager to have the children back in their classrooms. Still, they recognize the challenges posed by social distancing requirements for active preschoolers in a compact facility that's located in a densely populated community.

Pictures of students are displayed at Makkasan preschool in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The teachers, many of whom are from the community, are eager to have the children back in the classroom but recognize the challenges posed by social distancing active preschoolers in a compact facility in this densely populated community. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Pictures of students are displayed at Makkasan preschool in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The teachers, many of whom are from the community, are eager to have the children back in the classroom but recognize the challenges posed by social distancing active preschoolers in a compact facility in this densely populated community. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
© Provided by Associated Press
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