Based on public health indicators in respect of COVID-19 and the continuous monitoring and assessment of the educational process under the pandemic as well as the overall situation, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education decided that starting November 1st, students of public and private schools/preschools will attend in-person classes at schools on a rotational basis. The choice between in-person attendance and distance learning will be abolished. This will take effect after the students complete the ongoing mid-term exams of semester 1.
The Ministry also decided to raise the average attendance rate to 42% of the school capacities according to the weekly rotational schedule. As of November 1st, attendance in public and private schools will be compulsory according to the academic calendar of each school, which will start from October 25 to November 1. The blended learning approach will be implemented according to the weekly rotating attendance schedules.
In this context, all schools are required to split the entire students into groups of up to 15 people, with a safe distance of 1.5 meters between students in the classrooms being maintained.
It is also important to ensure that students of specific stages wear face masks regularly.
Schools will organize the entry and exit of students to school grounds to maintain physical distancing and avoid overcrowding. Exceptions from attending classes at schools include students who suffer chronic diseases as supported by an approved medical report. They can attend distance learning classes only.
The Ministry stresses the need for all teachers and administrators to observe the precautionary measures and fully cooperate with the concerned authorities in the event that any cases of Covid-19 are confirmed or suspected. Strict measures and legal actions will be taken against any school in violation of the precautionary measures.
Subject to the prior approval of the MOEHE’s Private Schools Affairs Department, private schools and kindergartens can apply the double-shift system on a daily basis in order to cover the required schooling hours. It is important, however, to ensure that the attendance rate in each shift does not exceed 42% of the school or kindergarten’s overall capacity, whether in the classrooms or the entire school. All facility surfaces must be sterilized in the interval between the two shifts.
Specialized, technical, special needs and remote schools must adhere to the same attendance rates.
For schools where student numbers are below the stated rates, students will attend in full capacity (100%) on a daily basis, provided that students are split into small groups of 15 people in each classroom. The safe distance of 1.5 between students in the classrooms must also be observed.
Schools will give students the rotational attendance schedules, which demonstrate the days of in-person attendance and those of distance learning classes for each academic stage.
The Ministry here emphasizes that these amendments are aimed at serving the interest of students and facilitating their gradual return to the school environment. This will reflect positively on the student’s academic achievement and psychological and social well-being. Classroom student-student and student-teacher interactions are very important for the development of the students’ intellectual potential. This, in turn, will contribute to the success of the educational process.
The Ministry places the health and well-being of students and teaching and administrative staff at the top of its priorities. It cooperates with the local concerned authorities, led by the Ministry of Public Health, to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of all students. The physical and mental health of students is a significant component of the educational process.
It is worth mentioning that the latest figures demonstrate that the overall COVID-19 situation in Qatar schools is very reassuring.