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Mode of education subject to infection rate, classroom strength

27 Oct 2020

In the new academic session commencing on November 1, the mode of education – classroom, distance or blended – will depend on the COVID-19 infection rate and the number of students in the class or school where it is located. 

Grade 1 to 11 students are more likely to have distance education, while Grade 12 students will attend school on a weekly on/off basis. However, if their normal class strength is 16, they will attend regular daily classes. 

Speaking to Oman TV, H E Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Undersecretary for Administration and Financial Affairs in the Ministry of Education (MoE), said, “Education should start, not wait for the pandemic to pass. Students of Grade 12 will return to school 100 per cent or 50 per cent (alternate weeks), while students of Grade 1 to 11 in most schools of the sultanate will be studying through distance learning.”

The ministry has provided two types of learning platforms – ministry sites, in addition to an electronic library, for Grade 1 to 4, and Google Classroom for students of Grade 5 to 12. 

He informed that MoE is working with telecommunications companies to strengthen the Internet and extend connectivity to schools that are not in the network, and added that the ministry has introduced a mechanism to support families that cannot provide computers for their children. 

“The mode of education will vary in schools depending on the student density of each class. The number of students in a class must not exceed 16 to ensure physical distancing,” H E Ambosaidi said. 

The directorate general in each governorate is now working on the classification of schools in their jurisdiction into the integrated education system which will be announced this week.

Students of Grade 12 in all schools in the sultanate will undergo the same final examination assessment procedure – 60 per cent by the ministry, 40 per cent in school. Tests for Grade 1 to 11 will be assessed at the school level.

Talking about private schools, he said, “The return of students in these schools has been approved but will depend on the plan presented by them to the ministry, which factors in health precautionary measures and the availability of quality education. The ministry will decide in light of these to grant approval to the schools.

“Any educational directorate that contracts bus owners for students’ transport should ensure that health requirements are met.”

Additionally, H E Ambosaidi said guardians should not send their children to school if they have any symptoms of infection.

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