The precautionary and preventive measures put in place will make the return to school safe, a senior official has stressed.

"We count on the co-operation of parents to make the current school year successful," Fawzia al-Khater, assistant undersecretary for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, told Qatar Radio on Sunday morning.

She said the plan for the new academic year was amended based on the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)'s directives in line with its assessment of the Covid-19 situation in the country and related developments.

The official said the aim behind amending the plan is to make up for any educational gap that students may have experienced due to the absence from class for almost six months.

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

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.

Speaking to Qatar Radio on Sunday, al-Khater said the applicable precautionary and preventive measures would make the return to school safe.

She noted that remote learning has been successful due to the strength of the infrastructure available at schools in Qatar. Besides, the technological infrastructure in the country has helped advance the level of education in Qatar and improve the performance of both teachers and students. Accordingly, the ministry is getting ready to launch a distinguished education platform for students in Qatar soon, she said.

Al-Khater said the percentage of students' attendance in school classrooms was modified from 50% to 30% during the latest update of the back-to-school plan based on the MoPH's directives.

"We expect parents to raise the awareness of students about the precautionary and preventive measures against Covid-19," she said.

Further, the official urged parents who want to use buses to transport their children to school to book a seat soon - if they so desire - and arrange it with the school to give the management the time needed to prepare in accordance with the measures taken.

Besides, they should provide children with a suitable, safe and convenient educational environment at home along with the necessary apparatus to access remote learning resources such as educational videos and online lessons, and make sure that they can communicate properly with their educational peers and teachers.

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