The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has succeeded, with distinction, in completing the 2019/2020 academic year despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which halted education in most countries.
The Ministry implemented e-learning education to complete the academic year after parents and society feared the effects of the pandemic on the health and safety of their children, as well as a halt in education.
On March 23, students began their studies through the e-distance education system and the Ministry canceled the end of the second-semester tests for grades 1-11 and replaced it by conducting an evaluation process for these students, provided that general and specialized high school students take the end of the second-semester tests as usual. These tests started on June 1 and end on June 13.
H.E. the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr. Ibrahim bin Saleh Al Nuaimi said in an interview to Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the evaluation process and the standards taken for grades 1-11 that planning for the evaluation process was carried out in parallel with the education process through planning for daily and weekly assessments.
He added that they are continuous assessments covering all learning goals and emphasized the joint responsibility of students, teachers, parents, school administrations and the education affairs sector, pointing out that the Ministry has received positive indicators in this regard, and there is accountability for any failure of all parties involved in the evaluation process in the Ministry.
H.E. the Undersecretary added that the Ministry's option of distance education to complete the 2019/2020 academic year was dedicated to the successful infrastructure that it achieved in the field of e-learning after it had made great progress in establishing this type of education over the previous years.
He pointed out that the Ministry has prepared the educational content for distance study for each of the academic levels, by filming and producing videos of daily lessons, with a focus on providing the student with the concepts and values of these lessons on electronic links via the digital platforms provided.
The Ministry also did not neglect the role of parents, and stressed the importance of the partnership between the guardian and the school in this regard, and provided them in the framework of ensuring the safety of students a number of useful advice on the practice of distance learning, in addition to preparing illustrative files and videos in detail on how to log in and out on the distance learning platforms for students and their parents, which is what has won their approval.
With regard to distance learning for people with special needs, HE the Undersecretary said that the Ministry has provided educational materials that meet the needs of this group of students according to the level and type of disability. On the other hand, it directed the specialized schools to choose the best teachers for the specialized subjects in each school and instruct them to provide illustrated lessons for theoretical materials and practical workshops and raise them on the learning management system at the school site, as well as send text messages to parents to start broadcasting the lessons.
On the level of private schools, H.E. the Undersecretary confirmed that the evaluation process went well, where the application rate reached 100 percent, indicating the multiplicity of systems used in private schools as a result of different experiences in the e-learning system, and the different policies adopted according to the special systems and curricula in each school.
Educational experts as well as schools administrations, teachers and specialists have emphasized that the remote educational programs have assisted students to reach the content and do their homework through the internet, and so it reduced the teachers' efforts in the daily and weekly evaluation process, in addition, it enabled the teacher in another hand to share the interactive lessons through using the whiteboard, texts, audio, and video, as well as recording the illustrated and viewing lessons, which enabled the students to reach them at all times.
Regarding high school students, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education gave paramount importance to them to complete their academic year of 2019/2020, as general lessons were given to them for all subjects, and they made sure to cover the learning goals in an adequate way through the multiple learning platforms and continuous communication between teachers and students.
Around 11,500 students are taking the final exams now, for high school certificate, of the second study term of the educational year of 2019/2020 (day schools and adults education students), that have been going well according to the schedule prepared for it from the ministry, distributed on 149 headquarters, with allocating around 6,100 employees to work as observers and in walking committees.
In this context, the Ministry worked in coordination with each of the Ministry of Health and others in the country to ensure that public certification exams are conducted in safe conditions, taking into account that the tests are appropriate in terms of content, while the Student Assessment Department has undertaken a number of procedures to implement the tests under these conditions represented by the distribution Students have a maximum of 8 students per class, and 40 students in the large gym and within a distance of up to 4 meters, to ensure that there is no congestion in the test rooms.
Also, masks, gloves, and sterilization tools were provided in all test locations, grade control, and control headquarters, and temperature measurement, as well as preparing a health and safety guide to implement the tests for the end of the second semester of the current year, as well as preparing an awareness plan for all groups involved in implementing the tests, in addition to changing the test date starts at 9:00 am, until it is confirmed that all required precautions are taken. Corrections of exams also took place in larger buildings to ensure appropriate physical distancing during the process.
H.E. Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, emphasized that the ministry had taken all the preventive and precautionary measures, among the measures taken by the country to curb the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, to ensure the health and safety of the students and all of the schools' employees during the exams.
His Excellency noted that the Ministry had set special standards and requirements of safety, regarding the safe distance between students and providing a safe and healthy environment to take the exams, as well as taking consideration of the current circumstances and reduce the test time and the number of questions included in each test.
The great success of the distance learning process in completing the academic year 2019/2020 confirms that the Coronavirus pandemic has not affected the educational process or even the start or start of the new academic year.
And this is indicated by the ministerial decision issued by H.E. the Minister of Education and Higher Education, recently to amend some provisions of the annual calendar of schools for the academic year 2019/2020, according to which the dates of the second round exams for all grades from (first to 12th day) and adult education for the academic year 2019/2020 starting from Aug. 23 of 2020 until Aug. 31 of 2020, provided that staff time in schools begins for the academic year 2020/2020 starting from Aug. 19 of 2020, and students attend beginning Sept. 1 of 2020.
The success of this e-learning experience confirms the development of the teaching and learning system in Qatar, the availability of multiple educational resources, and the degree of readiness in terms of options and opportunities for any emergency situation such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Qatar News Agency
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