Public and private schools and preschools received yesterday students in person in classrooms safely with attendance rate of 42 percent of the school capacities following the decision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to implement new learning system based on weekly rotating attendance schedules.
The new system has abolished choice between in-person attendance and distance learning making attendance in public and private schools mandatory.
The Government Communication Office (GCO) has said that schools in Qatar have taken all precautionary measures in preparation for their students’ return. “Using the rotational learning system, the system will combine online & classroom-based learning & be implemented at all stages of education, starting from Sunday (yesterday),” said GCO on its Twitter account.
File picture of a school in Doha practising the COVID-19 precautionary measures.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has confirmed that COVID-19 situation in schools is reassuring. “The figures on COVID-19 infection in schools taken from September 1, 2020 until now suggests very little number of cases so there is no need of worry at all,” said Adviser to the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Mohamad Al Bashri while talking in a Qatar TV programme yesterday.
He said that the infection rate among students were about 0.7 percent which is nothing in line with the total number of students in school amounting over 340,000.
“I would like to assure students and parents that all schools in Qatar are adhering to the preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 since the beginning of classroom learning from September 1 until now,” said Al Bashri.
He said that as per the protocol approved by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Ministry of Public Health, the students should not be more than 15 in a classroom, they must maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres and wear face mask.
“Joint inspection teams from both ministries have been deployed to conduct inspection on daily basis in all schools – government and private to ensure implementation of the COVID-19 measures,” said Al Bashri.
He said that there are joint control rooms that received inspection reports from MoPH and Ministry of Education and Higher Education based on these reports and indicators of MoPH the decision will be taken to increase or decrease the in-person attendances in schools.
“We are committed to your health and safety as you return back to schools. Your awareness and observance of the precautionary measures will help us fulfil this commitment,” the Ministry tweeted yesterday.
Talking to The Peninsula, schools lauded the decision of the Ministry for implementing new learning system of rotating attendance expecting better performance of the students.
Founder Director at The Next Generation School (TNG), Riyaz Amed Bakali said that the new decision of the Ministry will help return the education process to normalcy gradually. “Rotational learning system increased 12 percent in-person attendance of students in classroom which were necessary for their social and intellectual development,” said Bakali. He said that for a quality education the students need a complete classroom environment in which they interact with teachers and their classmates.
Principal Pakistan International School, Nargis Raza Otho, spoke exclusively about the modification and declared it a pleasant and much-needed shift from complete online learning. She said that the response from students and parents is also positive and encouraging.
“Keeping in view the schedule of 42 percent overall attendance rate, students of PISQ studying in Class 11 and 12 attended on-campus classes. We have recorded around 90 percent attendance rate at these levels, the highest recorded attendance so far, even though it was just the first day of the new blended learning structure. Our students from Class 1 to 10 are currently taking their examinations, and will join their classes once the examination period is over. We are confident that our attendance rate will go higher with time as parents have hailed this decision as practical and delightsome”, said the Principal.
(Source: The Peninsula)