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Monday, December 6, 2021

School attendance lowered to 30% amid surge in cases


In response to a sharp surge in Covid-19 infections in Qatar, education and health authorities announced major changes.

The attendance rate for schools across Qatar will be lowered from 50% to 30% from March 21, the Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday.

The decision was taken in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

According to the latest MoPH figures on Wednesday, 489 new positive infections were reported, bumping the number of current active cases to 12,290.

“Upon close coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and for the public interest, it has been decided to reduce the attendance rate in all stages of public and private schools to 30% as of 21 March to ensure a safe and healthy school environment, with blended education being in force,” MoEHE tweeted.

Education and health authorities confirmed last year that the second academic semester 2020/2021 will continue to be a blend between online learning and 50% mandatory attendance.

This meant students would continue to rotate between in-class and online learning throughout the week during the ongoing academic semester, which started in January 2021 for both private and public schools. 

Th new measure means this will now with only 30% of the total number of registered students at a school attend in person at a time.

Read also: Vaccinate or test weekly: School staff face strict new Covid-19 rules

As for teachers and administrative staff, employees required to attend full-time in schools while adhering to precautionary measures, according to the ministry’s guidelines.

In hopes to return to normalcy and maintain proper education amid the ongoing pandemic, the authorities recently included teaching and administrative staff in priority groups eligible for receiving the vaccine. Last month, the Qatar National Convention Centre was opened specifically to inoculate school staff.

Earlier this month, the education ministry also imposed stricter rules for school employees.

The announcement concluded that no school employees will be allowed to enter school premises without showing the golden vaccination stamp on Ehteraz or providing a weekly negative Covid-19 test.

Last week, a senior official confirmed more than 45% of teachers and administrators working in public and private schools have been inoculated against Covid-19.

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