WATCH: Schools across Qatar to reopen in three stages from September 1: Ministry
As Qatar gradually moves toward the final two phases of its plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) has announced that all public and private schools in the country will begin the academic year 2020/2021 in three stages from September 1.
First Stage – from September 1 to 3
During this stage, attendance will not exceed one-third of the students’ total strength in the school.
Guidelines containing suggested models on how students can attend have been sent to government and private schools as well as kindergartens by the education affairs and special education departments.
Second Stage – from September 6 to 17
This two-week stage for integrated education will see 50 percent attendance at all schools. Students will attend school on a rotational basis.
According to the MoEHE, the attendance and occupancy rate in all public and private schools and kindergartens will not exceed 50 percent of the number of students.
There will be two groups of students. In the first week, half of the students (50 percent) will attend classes in school, while the remaining would receive their education remotely.
In the next week, those who attended school will study remotely, while the other half will attend classes in school.
Third Stage – from September 20
The final stage will allow 100 percent attendance of students at all public and private schools and kindergartens.
Classes will resume with all precautionary measures in place, in line with the requirements of the health and safety department in MoEHE, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Public Health.
The Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs at MoEHE, Fawzia Al Khater said in addition to providing lessons to students, the three stages are meant to raise awareness of students, parents, as well as academic and administrative staff in government schools on precautionary measures.
These would include how to achieve social distancing to maintain the health of students and the staff, without affecting the educational attainment of these students, she mentioned.
School timings are from 7.15 am to 12.30 pm. There will be six classes of 45 minutes each per day, coupled with five-minute breaks between classes.
There will be a 25-minute break, taking into account the system of the school schedule, three different times for school break will be implemented to reduce the number of students during any break.
Kindergartens will follow the usual daily schedule with working hours from 7.10 am to 12 pm.
Assistant Undersecretary for Private Schools Affairs Omar Al Nama highlighted that MoEHE has included an appendix of the requirements that private schools and kindergartens must follow before the start of the school year.
Schools must have a permanent nurse and provide isolation rooms in the event any symptoms are observed in a student or school staff.
Additionally, schools should provide adequate sterilizers on a daily basis and hand them out to all facilities and classrooms.
When the academic year commences on September 1, no one will be allowed to enter the school buildings and kindergartens without agreeing to follow the precautionary requirements manual issued by MoEHE’s Department of Health and Safety, he underlined.
Temporary suspension of all schools, universities, and academic institutions was among one of the first measures Qatar took as it began implementing precautionary and preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year.
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