Back-to-school plan amended; blended learning from Sept 1
August 20 2020 12:56 AM
Ministry of Education and Higher Education
Ministry of Education and Higher Education

*Online classes and in-person classroom learning to be blended as one system
*Students are required to attend classes one to three times per week, while maintaining an attendance rate of about 30% of the total number of students in the school per day


* Students will attend classes once or twice a week, with a maximum attendance of 30% of the school capacity per day

* There will not be more than 15 children in each classroom. Desks must be arranged to keep a safe distance of 1.5m between students

* Distance learning will take place on the days when students do not attend school

* During the first three days (September 1-3), schools will introduce students to the precautionary measures that must be observed while on the campus

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has decided to amend the back-to-school plan announced earlier and implement a blended learning system during the first term of the school year 2020/2021 across all the educational stages including government and private schools, higher education institutes and kindergartens.

Accordingly, e-learning and classroom learning are to be blended in one system. The amendment came after a co-ordination meeting with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), regarding the precautionary and preventive measures against Covid-19, and mitigating the academic consequences of school closures and delaying the beginning of the new academic year.

According to the blended learning system, students have to attend classes at school from one to three times a week, maintaining an attendance rate of 30% of the total number of students on a single school day. The aim is to facilitate students attend the classes of basic subjects, perform practical experiments and sit for exams and tests.

In order to maintain the necessary health conditions and social distancing, schools should split students at any level into groups of a maximum of 15. A minimum distance of 1.5m ought to be maintained between each student on all sides.

Remote and e-learning will be implemented on the days when students do not attend classes at the school, according to the pre-planned schedule by the Ministry. However, students shall go to school to sit for the exams of the mid-term and end of term as per a schedule organised by the school to maintain social distancing.

Schools shall improve students' awareness about the related preventive and precautionary measures throughout the first school days (September 1-3). Accordingly, students at the preparatory and secondary schools only are obliged to wear a face mask. Besides, related brochures and booklets issued by the health and safety department shall be distributed to students to raise their awareness as well as that of their parents during the first school days.

In addition, students shall be given the rotational attendance timetable indicating the days when they will come to school and the days of remote learning. Schools shall maintain proper social distancing among students during their exit and entry and cancel the morning assembly and all the social activities such as camps, trips, parties and festivals and go for virtual alternatives instead.

As for the specialised and technical schools, schools for special needs children and remote schools which have limited and fewer number of students not exceeding 30% of the full capacity of the school building, classes can be held at school for all students on all school days.

The Ministry exempted some categories of students from attending physically in the school classrooms, including students with chronic diseases or with a close family member suffering from a chronic disease living in the same household to avoid possible transmission of infection. However, an approved medical certificate and report should be submitted with the national address to the school concerned. Meanwhile, the exempted students shall have to attend the central exams and tests alongside their colleagues at the school building.

The Ministry has also issued a circular to the directors and presidents of the universities in the country regarding its decision to make regular attendance of students at universities in a gradual manner. Accordingly, attendance throughout the first three months (from the start of September until the end of November) will be only 30% of the students as integrated learning goes on.

Students will be scheduled for attending exams as part of their evaluation stages as much as possible and according to the necessity while maintaining all the necessary preventive measures against Covid-19. It is also necessary to maintain a distance of 1.5m between each student. Necessary awareness should be provided to students and employees in co-ordination with the MoPH.

Last updated: August 20 2020 01:06 AM

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