Muscat – Over 700,000 students are returning to schools for the new academic year 2021-22 beginning on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Education (MoE), grades 1 to 6 student will follow a blended education system – a combination of in-person and online classes.
Low-density schools with not more than 20 students to a class, will however, follow the direct education system where students attend classes on all school days, the ministry said. The direct education system will be followed for grades 7 to 11.
Schools with over 30 students to a class will follow the blended system while classes for grade 12 students will be fully in person, the MoE said. The new school year will see return of 702,658 students distributed among 1,204 government schools.
An official at the ministry said that schools can take a decision to close them if students are diagnosed with coronavirus infections. “Students of those schools will return to remote learning platforms,” the official said.
“The ministry has a large balance of electronic curricula, and many lessons and electronic content have been recorded and are available and can be used in the academic year,” he added.
“Tremendous efforts are being made to create a healthy and safe environment in schools to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Talking about the readiness of parents for schools, Ahmed al Balushi, one of the parents, told Muscat Daily that his son, who is in class 7, has already been vaccinated.
“I am happy that schools are opening again because the best learning happens face to face. I urge students and the society to cooperate and abide by the decisions of the Supreme Committee to limit the spread of the pandemic,” said Balushi.
Another parent, Said al Abri, said, “Blended education helped us a lot during the first phase of the spread of the pandemic. I provided my children with computers and got a better Internet package at home to help them adapt to distance education.
“I also immunised my three children against COVID-19 who are studying in the seventh, ninth and 12 grades. I urge all students to take vaccines because this the best way to beat the virus,” he said.
“Parents and students must adhere to health measures to reduce the epidemic. Children and their parents must be well aware that the pandemic is still among us.”
“All students in private and government schools, inclusive of foreign students, will be administered the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccines this week,” according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
The MoH aims to vaccinate some 339,661 students across the country. So far, 277,381 students have been vaccinated with one dose, while 28,149 have taken two shots.