Students are heading back to school starting today after a four-month hiatus following the second COVID-19 outbreak in the Sultanate last August.
In a recent statement, the Ministry of Education (MoE) announced that the learning and teaching session for the first phase of the Endemic Stage would begin on January 3 for Years 10-13 students, with physical classes to be held five times a week. Meanwhile, Years 7 – 9 students will commence in-person classes on January 17, in the second phase of the Endemic Stage.
For both stages, only fully vaccinated students will be allowed to attend physical classes. For unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-old students and Year 7 students under 12 years, lessons will continue online or via the home learning pack (HLP).
The Bulletin learnt that teachers had informed parents and guardians on the new school term through circulars and letters. Years 7-9 students will have online classes with links to various platforms to be shared with the students. Attendance will also be recorded.
Year 6 students waiting for the School Assessed Marks (SAM) can commence their Year 7 education tomorrow, after registering at a new secondary school in their catchment area.
The MoE said the provision of antigen rapid test (ART) kits, rooms for ART testing and isolation, as well as a sick bay are in place for the re-opening of the new school term.
A working parent of three told the Bulletin, “It has been a tough few months and difficult period for students as they have had to cope with zero physical classes. Some families faced difficulties in monitoring their children’s online learning, and some students became demotivated or lost interest with distant supervision.
“For children below 12 who are yet to resume face-to-face classes, there is not much we can do as they are unvaccinated. Hopefully, the rolling out of vaccine for this category in the coming months will bring a sigh of relief,” he said.