The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has announced that it has been decided to start the 2020/2021 academic year at all public and private schools in Qatar, according to the following stages:
The first stage: for three days and starting from September 1 to 3, so that the student attendance rate does not exceed one-third of the people in the school in the first three days. The educational affairs and special education departments have sent guidelines for government schools including government specialized schools, schools specializing in the field of special education (Audio Education Complex, Al Heedaya schools, and kindergarten) and private schools and kindergartens with suggested models for how to attend students.
The second stage: for two weeks, from September 6 to 17 integrated education, where the attendance and occupancy rate in all Qatar public and private schools and kindergartens will not exceed 50 percent of the students, as their attendance will be alternating during the two mentioned weeks in two groups so that half of the students (50 percent) attend in the first week in school then they receive their education remotely in the week that follows, and then the other half of students attend in the second week of the start of the academic year after they receive their education remotely in the first week.
The third stage: the actual start of 100 percent of students in schools and kindergartens, and this period starts from 9/20/2020 for all students in public and private schools and kindergartens; while continuing to take precautionary precautions in accordance with the requirements of the health and safety department in the education ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health.
Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Fawzia Al Khater said that the gradual return in three stages aims to provide lessons for bridging the gap and level measurement tests for students, in addition to raising the awareness of the students, their parents and academic and administrative staff in government schools with precautionary measures and how to achieve social distancing to maintain the health of students and the staff working in schools, without affecting the educational attainment of these students.
Assistant Undersecretary for Private Schools Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Omar Al Nama pointed out that the gradual return through the three phases will allow private schools and kindergartens to receive students after a break and educate them about the precautionary procedures followed in the classrooms and school buildings, in addition to introducing new students to remote learning programs for schools through meetings that bring them together with the teaching and administrative bodies, and clarify the educational plan for each school according to its accredited academic calendar.
Fawzia Al Khater and Omar Al Nama stressed the importance of the first stage in terms of raising awareness about the mechanisms of attendance during the following two weeks after the opening of schools.
Al Khater also said that the approved plan for the gradual return of government schools included a proposal to alternate attendance for students and a quota for study materials for different stages, and also included the school schedule for classes during the first and second school hours of the primary, preparatory and secondary stages. School timing starts at 7:15 am and ends at 12:30 pm, with six classes per day and 45-minute per each class, along with five minutes break time between classes. The school day also includes a 25-minute break, taking into account the system of the school schedule so that there are three different times for school break to reduce the number of students during a given break time.
As for kindergarten, the usual daily schedule is applied, with working hours starting from 7:10 am until 12:00 pm.
Assistant Undersecretary for Private Schools Affairs Omar Al Nama said that the Ministry has included an appendix of the requirements that private schools and kindergartens must adhere to before the start of the school year, such as providing a permanent nurse in the school and kindergarten and providing isolation rooms in the event of any symptoms appearing on any student or school staff, in addition to providing sufficient sterilizers on a daily basis and distributing them to all facilities and classrooms. He also stressed that at the start of the school year on September 1, no one will be allowed to enter the buildings of private schools and kindergartens without committing to applying the precautionary requirements manual issued by the Ministry's Department of Health and Safety.
Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs Fawzia Al Khater stressed the application of all precautionary measures to all government schools and the provision of comprehensive awareness regarding health precautionary measures inside the school in coordination with the Department of Health and Safety of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Fawzia Al Khater and Omar Al Nama called on parents to have dialogue and talk with children to further motivate them to learn and invest their energies in this regard.
Source: Qatar News Agency
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