Fawzia Al Khater, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs, while visiting a public school to check on the progress of the first school day of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Sanaullah Ataullah | The Peninsula
All government and private schools operating across the country welcomed students on first day of academic year 2020-21 yesterday in a healthy and safe environment strictly following preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
To ensure the safety of students, the schools adopted adequate measures including installation of thermal screening devices, automated hand-wash stations, wall-mounted sanitisers, rearrangements of seats in classes and putting stickers in the campus to ensure social distancing.
Some schools provided face shields to their students to maintain utmost level of safety for the students. Most of the schools asked parents to pickup and drop their children suspending the bus services in the beginning to reduce chances of mixing of students.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education gave back-to-school gifts to the students to bring smile on their faces marking the beginning of new academic year. The students were given tutorials on how to protect them, their classmates and school staffs from coronavirus following the directive of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Ministry of Public Health.
Trained members of the school health and safety committees made great efforts in making students adhere strictly to the preventive and precautionary measures.
“Most of the students who were listed in the 30 percent attendance requirement schedule attended the schools on the first day of back-to-school,” Riyaz Amed Bakali, Founder Director at The Next Generation School (TNG) told The Peninsula.
He said that the students were very exited to see their teachers and classmates after about six month long break caused by COVID-19 epidemic and summer vacations. “The Next Generation School which operates with seven campuses accommodating over 2,000 students installed 40 automated hand-wash stations in all its campuses,” said Bakali.
He said that the school also provided face shields to all students, free of cost, to make them safer during their presence in school.
“The trained members of health and safety committees which were formed in all campus helped the students in following the protocol of COVID-19 preventive and precautionary measures starting from pickup and drop points, in the classrooms and campus,” said Bakali.
A parent Abdul Qadeer who is an imam in a mosque at Salatha Al Jadeeda said that his daughter, a student of class 10 at a government school, went to her school happily yesterday.
“All my children are exited to rejoin classes after months-long break. My son who is in class 11 will go to school today. Another two sons who are in class six and two will attend their schools on Thursday,” said Abdul Qadeer.
Speaking about the bus services, he said that parents have been asked to drop only their children on first day without need to go for pickup as bus carry them back to home. To recall, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education implemented blended learning – a combination of classroom teaching and distance learning for the first semester of the academic year 2020-21 for all schools including government, private and preschool.