Live Minister of Education: Schools in Oman will operate only for 3-5 hours

Muscat: 15th Press conference of the Supreme Committee charged with discussing the mechanism for dealing with Coronavirus Covid_19 | Thursday, September 10, 2020

H.E. Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al Shaibani,

Minister of Education

H.E. Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al Shaibani: 

Her Excellency Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibania, Minister of Education, revealed the details of the new academic year 2020/2021, as the Ministry set a general framework for operating schools in the Sultanate.

During the press conference of the Supreme Committee in charge of discussing the mechanism of dealing with developments resulting from the spread of the Coronavirus, Her Excellency said:

“Education in the Sultanate has received great attention and close follow-up from our Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik – may God protect him – especially in light of  the current exceptional circumstances, as His Majesty  – directed that the 2020/2021 academic year be a year for blended education in which our children, male and female students, attend some classes in their schools and receive other classes remotely through educational platforms and television channels.

Her Excellency added that, in implementation of the Royal directives, the Ministry has continued its efforts in preparing plans and programs to restart schools. In a way that guarantees the safety of our children, male and female students and members of the teaching and administrative staff, benefiting from the best regional and international experiences and practices followed by the educational systems in this field in line with the educational context of the Sultanate, as these efforts concluded with preparing a general framework for the operation of the Sultanate’s schools.

Her Excellency explained that among the most prominent features that will be witnessed by the educational system in the Sultanate during the 2020/2021 academic year, firstly: health measures (health protocol); Where the Ministry has prepared a health protocol that includes the roles of all groups related to the school community, including students, teachers and parents, regarding the precautionary measures that must be followed in schools, which include health awareness, physical distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, using sterilizers, and operating school buses at half their capacity.

Minister of Education added that the second point is the school operating system; Where the Ministry adopted the school hours system instead of the quota system, and schools were classified into three categories based on their student density according to the following:

Minister of Education: As per WHO guidelines, Students from Class 1 to 4 need not wear fece masks.

1. Schools with low density no more than 16 students per class per day, for  3 hours per school day.

2, Schools with medium density, 4 hours per day with half the number of students during the first week, and half of them in the following week.

3, Schools with high density, 5 hours per day with one-third of the number of students during each week, so that students are divided into three weeks, except for the twelfth grade students, and they are divided into two groups, the first group begins its education during the first week, while the second group proceeds during the following week.

4, With an emphasis on students in middle and high-density schools, they continue to learn from a distance through educational platforms and television channels during the week in which they are at home.

5, She explained that the third point is the curriculum and educational evaluation. Where the Ministry has adapted the educational content of the curriculum to ensure that male and female students acquire basic knowledge, skills and values to achieve (180) academic days.

6, She added that the ministry has developed a system for evaluating students ’learning to be in line with the content of the curriculum and methods of direct and electronic learning, and has adopted the continuous evaluation system, and the application of examinations once at the end of the school year.

7, With regard to training programs, Her Excellency explained that within the framework of the Ministry’s keenness to provide all aspects of support and assistance to its teachers, the Specialized Institute for Professional Training for Teachers will implement a number of qualitative training programs to raise the level of performance efficiency in the field of distance education and the professional skills needed to apply it.

8, She went on to say that on the other hand, and in line with the implementation of the decentralization policy, the ministry has granted educational directorates and schools all the powers to take precautionary measures. In order to protect the health of our children, male and female students, and all school personnel.

9, Ministry stressed that the next stage requires all of us educators and parents to join efforts and make more serious work, and to exploit all available capabilities so that the next academic year will be a secure year full of motivation and activity, and sincere determination to achieve the desired goals and aspirations.

10, Her Excellency called on male and female students to adhere to the precautionary measures to ensure their safety, invest their time and follow up on their lessons through educational platforms and TV channels, communicate with their teachers, and make the most of what is offered to them from various educational programs.

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