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Students back at schools amid safety measures

19 Sep 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Over 700,000 students returned to schools on Sunday with 1,204 schools reopening across Oman.

On the occasion, H E Dr Madiha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, congratulated students, teachers, and administration staff for the new academic year.

She said, “This school year is witnessing a renewed move towards proficiency and development. The ministry sought to achieve the safe and gradual return of our students to school in light of the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this, all reference documents related to the return to study have been completed, such as the general framework to operate the sultanate’s schools, including the health procedures document for the school environment.”

“The ministry has developed the curricula and the educational evaluation system to provide a balanced and integrated education to address the loss of knowledge and skills during the past two academic years,” she added.

With regard to technical and vocational education, H E Dr Madiha said that the ministry is currently working on identifying the needs necessary to implement the project and studying its requirements, based on the partnerships with various sectors in the sultanate, and benefiting from regional and international experiences in the field.

“This partnership will also include holding meetings with the teaching and supervisory staff and students to clarify the ministry’s methodology and future vision in this field, and to benefit from their suggestions.”

H E Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, said, “The ministry has endeavoured during the past year to overcome the challenges that prevented in-person education – despite the difficulty and severity of the situation – in a manner that guarantees the safety of our students, our fellow teachers, and all those working in the educational field by providing other alternatives to achieve the educational process through the application of blended learning, e-learning and distance education.”

He said that the ministry has developed the general framework document for operating schools for the school year which serves as a road map that guides those in charge of the educational process in how to provide educational services to students in a safe manner.

“The document includes general pillars for operating schools, including precautionary measures and vaccination, the operating system of public schools, training, educational platforms and teaching content, learning and social-emotional learning, mechanisms for operating specialised special education schools, supplementary integration classes, special education programmes, and the operation of private schools. I hope that our school year will be a year full of achievements, full of contributions from all those working in the educational field.”

H E Majid bin Said al Bahri, Undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs in the ministry, said that the ministry completed the procedures for appointing 2,954 teachers who passed the written exams and personal interviews for this academic year to meet the need of teaching staff in various disciplines.

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