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Posted On: 21 August 2020 11:11 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 09:12 am

[FURTHER UPDATE] Q&A about schools reopening in Qatar (blended learning approach)

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UPDATE: August 24, 2020, 9:07 AM

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has posted an infographic showing the minimum requirements for e-learning, since it's a fundamental component of blended learning.

Minimum specifications required for digital communications devices:

  • CPU speed - 1 GHZ
  • Memory - 512 GB
  • Hard disk space - 5GB
  • Internet connection - fixed internet connection with a minimum of 2 Mbps/high-speed broadband
  • Browser - Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome

E-learning applications: Youtube and Q-learning portal

UPDATE: August 23, 2020, 10:44 PM

The Ministry of Education and Further Education has announced that parents can call the hotline 155 for any technical queries they may have related to the blended learning approach when schools start in September. (Infographic from MOEHE on the bottom of the article)

UPDATE: August 21, 6:22 PM

Article edited to change the frequency of when students need to attend in-person classes from once to twice a week to once to thrice a week. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education posted on its Twitter account an infographic about blended learning mentioning that students will attend classes 1 - 3 times per week to do coursework, experiments and exams.

Please scroll down to the bottom to see the infographic.


The coming academic year 2020/2021 will start on September 1 as announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education last month. Yesterday, however, the Ministry has announced that it has decided to amend the three-phased back-to-school plan and adopt a blended learning approach instead.

We broke down the information from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to make it clearer for you:

Q: What is the blended learning approach?

A: It's an educational approach that combines online learning and in-person teaching in the classroom.

Q: Which schools and grades are required to be present in the schools?

A: All stages of education across public and private schools, preschools and the higher education institutions.

Q: How many days should students be present in school?

A: Once to thrice a week, with a maximum attendance rate of 30% of school capacity per day. This will allow students to attend basic classes and conduct laboratory experiments and tests.

Q: Is there an exemption to the 30% capacity?

A: For specialized, technical, special needs and remote schools, where the total number of students amounts to 30% of the school capacity, students will attend in full capacity (100%) on a daily basis.

Q: How many students should be present per classroom?

A: Schools will need to break the students into groups of no more than 15 in each classroom. Desks must also be arranged to keep a safe distance of 1.5 meters between students in the classroom, to comply with the health and social distancing requirements.

Some levels will be assigned two days a week to attend schools and other classes will be assigned one day a week, according to educational priorities.

Q: Who is exempted from attending classes in school?

A: Students who suffer chronic diseases and students whose parents suffer from chronic conditions. The excepted students, however, must attend personally to school to take the main exams.

Q: What should students submit to the school to be exempted from attending in-person classes?

A: Approved medical report. For those with parents suffering from chronic conditions, an approved medical certificate and national address certificate for the patient should be submitted to the school.

Q: When should students use remote learning?

A: Distance learning will take place on the days when students do not attend school as per the school schedule.

Q: How about exams?

A: According to the blended learning model, students will take the mid-semester and end-of-semester exams at school premises. Schools will be responsible for planning the exam schedules to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.

Q: What will happen in the first 3 days of school?

A: During the first three days (1-3 September), schools will introduce students to the precautionary measures that must be observed while on the school campus. Students will also be informed about blended learning approach in schools from September 1 - 3.

Q: Do students have to wear a mask?

A: Preparatory and high school students will have to wear (cloth) face masks.

Q: How will students and parents learn of the necessary precautionary measures?

A: Relevant leaflets and brochures should be distributed to students and parents at the beginning of the academic year.

Q: When will students know their schedule of when they'll be present in the classroom?

A: School management will be sending text messages to parents well ahead of the start of school, which includes the days allocated for their children to visit schools during the first three days, as well as the timings of daily school attendance.

Q: What if a student is not present in school during his/her scheduled days?

A: Student will be marked absent. Text messages from school management will emphasize the importance of school attendance, noting that the attendance and absence policy will be implemented.

Q: What else should schools do to maintain physical distancing?

  • The entry and exit of students to school grounds must be organized to maintain physical distancing and avoid overcrowding.
  • Morning assembly and group activities, including trips, camps, celebrations and the like, will be suspended and replaced with virtual events, where possible.
  • It is important that open spaces in schools are utilized, such as parade grounds, school theatres, laboratories, and art rooms which can be transformed into open classes to allow for social distancing.

Q: What are the school timings?

A: School starts at 7:15 am and finishes at 12:30 pm. As for kindergartens, usual daily schedules will be applied during school days, with school start times of 7:10 am and end times of 12:00 pm.

Q: How many classes and breaks per day?

A: School schedules will include 6 classes per day of 45 minutes each, with a five-minute break between classes.
School day will include a 25-minute break. School schedules include three different timings for breaks to reduce the number of students on a single break.

Q: What about University students?

A: 30% of students will attend campus daily from September to November, with the blended learning being deployed. Exam attendance will be considered in the assessment scores, as needed.

Q: What are the guidelines for remote learning during the blended learning approach?

  • 6 sessions per day
  • Session duration: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Access Qlearning
  • Students must have usernames and passwords to watch recorded lessons and complete assessments on Qlearning portal.
  • Parents will provide computers for their child(ren), make sure they have the username/password, create a convenient environment and offer them support and guidance.
  • 155 - Technical support hotline
  • Using MS Teams for remote learning.
  • Making recorded lessons for all classes available via remote learning channels on YouTube.
  • Making weekly classes and weekly evaluations for each course available for students for one week from the upload date.
  • Uploading digital textbooks (PDFs and interactive books) to the allocated channels.

Q: Are these guidelines subject to change?

A: According to the Ministry, when initially discussing these points and the measures, it is important to always emphasize that these measures are subject to continuous review given the current circumstances and are subject to change according to any developments related to the spread of the virus.

Source: Ministry of Education and Higher Education

Image used for representation purposes only.