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Gulf News, Sunday, Sep 13, 2020 | Muharram 25, 1442

Schools in Oman all set to reopen in November

Oman: Dr. Abdullah Al Ambusaidi, Undersecretary of Ministry of Education said that bilingual schools, community schools and those following international curriculum will continue online education until November 1. After that, schools will be reopened.

The new curriculum is designed to fit the new emerging mode of education, and there will be training programmes designed for teachers to enhance their online teaching skills.

Primary school students (Class 1 to 4) will not need to wear masks, as recommended by the World Health Organization, and the ministry will provide hand sanitisers and thermometers.

For those students who reside in places that get no internet access, the Ministry will ensure a seamless access to their classes through television channels.

The Supreme Committee in its 15th press conference, shared the details of how the academic year 20-21 will pan out for schools in the Sultanate. H.E. Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al Shaibani, Minister of Education addressed the points and modus operandi pertaining to the resumption of schools’ academic activities.

Dr Madiha indicated that it has been decided that the academic year 2020/2021 will be a blended learning year, with both online and offline classes to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff.

Half capacity

“Ministry has planned strict health protocol to be followed by schools, for teachers, students, and parents. It has also been decided that the school buses will operate at half-capacity. The classes will be based on hours of study, depending on the category of schools. Social distancing, wearing of masks, washing hands at frequent intervals, will be mandated without fail,” he said.

The Ministry of Education has classified three categories of schools now: Low-density with 16 students per class per day who will study for three in-school hours a day. Medium-density schools’ students who will study for four in-school hours a day, with half the total strength attending school one week followed by study from home the next week. High-density schools’ students who will study for five in-school hours a day, divided over three weeks, whereby students will have one week of blended study followed by two weeks of studying from home. Grade 12 students will be divided into two groups, studying over two weeks, in the same format as the medium-density schools.

The Medium- and high-density classrooms will continue to study online, as well as through sessions imparted on Oman TV during their non-in-school study hours. Students will also be spared from semester-wise exams which will be replaced with one exams held at the end of the year.

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