Attendance compulsory in schools from Sunday
October 31 2020 11:14 PM
Preparing schools and kindergartens for the rotating attendance system. (Grabs taken from GCO video)
Preparing schools and kindergartens for the rotating attendance system. (Grabs taken from GCO video)

Attendance is compulsory in the country's schools on a rotation basis from Sunday, in line with a decision announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) recently.

The ministry had taken the decision after evaluating the available data, which showed the general situation regarding Covid-19 in schools as "very reassuring". The MoEHE had also decided to raise the average attendance rate in all government and private schools and kindergartens to 42% of their capacity, in accordance with the weekly rotating attendance schedule.

The rotating attendance system cancels the earlier decision to let students choose between actual attendance and distance (online) learning. Now, the blended education system will be applied according to the weekly rotating attendance schedule.

Students with chronic diseases and who have medical certificates are excluded from physical attendance in schools during the first semester.

All schools have made necessary arrangements accordingly and issued necessary instructions to students and parents regarding the days of attendances as well as the mode of reaching classrooms and collecting students after the school hours.

Saturday, the Government Communications Office (GCO) released a video stressing how schools in Qatar have taken all precautionary measures in preparation for the students' return.

Several schools have made specific and designated areas for students to reach the school as well as to pick them up after the school hours. Some schools have made the facility of contacting the teachers through WhatsApp or SMS before collecting the children so that any commotion can be avoided. Most schools also have appealed the parents to drop and collect their wards as school transport may not be made available in many schools.

Students have been divided into different groups and they are expected to attend schools twice a week with the number of students not to exceed the allotted capacity. Birla Public School, in a circular, said students have been divided into groups and arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the classes. “School timing is 7am to 1.30pm and parents are advised to pick and drop the students at the school gate. Parents should avoid crowding near the gates as it raises health and safety concerns,” the circular states.

“As soon as you reach the school to pick your ward, message (through WhatsApp/SMS) to the concerned class teacher that you have reached, so that the student can be sent down. Class-wise car parking will be allotted and parents are expected to remain seated in the vehicle. Older siblings are expected to exit through the gate allotted for the youngest. Therefore parents may park the vehicle in the parking lot allotted for the youngest child,” the circular adds.

Doha Modern Indian School (DMIS), in a similar circular, said students in KG and Grades 1-11 will physically attend classes twice a week, while those in Grade 12 will report to school three days a week. All classes have been divided into groups with the exception of KG and Grades 1, 2 and 12.

Lessons will be delivered through Zoom on other days in line with the blended learning system. DMIS is also providing the school bus facility, said the parent of a student .

Some other schools also have made similar arrangements, assuring that all precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure that students are ferried safely.

However, parents of students in schools not offering any bus service as of now feel that schools need to provide transportation as it is inconvenient for many of them to drop and pick up children due to their work schedule.

Last updated: October 31 2020 11:46 PM

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