Jordan announces measures to be taken for students’ return to school next semester

Public schools will be divided according to the number of students and the class time will be reduced to 30 minutes starting from the next semester

  
Students wearing protective face masks receive their new books at one of the public schools on the first day of the new school year, amid fears of rising number of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Amman, Jordan September 1, 2020.

Students wearing protective face masks receive their new books at one of the public schools on the first day of the new school year, amid fears of rising number of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Amman, Jordan September 1, 2020.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
 

AMMAN — Public schools will be divided according to the number of students and the class time will be reduced to 30 minutes starting from the next semester, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education Najwa Qubeilat told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh on Wednesday announced the government's commitment to the return of schools and in-class education gradually according to the health protocols starting from the beginning of the second semester.

There are 3,961 public schools run by the Ministry of Education. These were classified in four groups based on available space and the number of students per classroom, she said.

The first group consists of 605 schools. There will be no need to divide students over shifts in these schools. Kindergarten and early grade students will return to the classroom during the first week, while higher grade students will follow suit later on. Students in this category will attend school daily since the number of students per classroom is no more than 25, according to Qubeilat.

Qubeilat added that the second group consists of 2,120 schools. With a higher number of students per classroom, students in this category will follow a shifting system where students will be divided in two groups each attending school for two days and three days, alternately by the week. In this case, the number of students in the classroom is between 15 and 30.

The third category consists of 1,152 schools where number of students is 30 to 45 per classroom. In this case, students will be divided into two or three shifts depending on available classroom space.

The fourth group consists of 84 with existing number of students per classroom ranging between 45 and 60. In these schools, students will be divided into three groups of no more than 20 students each.

The class duration will be reduced to 30 minutes instead of the full 45, except for the first group consisting of 605 public schools in which duration of class will remain full length. Morning assembly will be limited to one class to ensure physical distancing is observed, according to Qubeilat.

All health protocol measures will be followed while sanitisers and masks will be provided in every school. The school’s cafeteria will provide services in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher, and the breaks will also be spent in the classroom, Qubeilat added.

Highlighting the importance of taking proper measures when it comes to infected teachers and students, she said that “If a student in the school tests positive for COVID-19, the student will be directly moved to attending classes via distance learning for 10 days, that is if they are asymptomatic.

In the event the student has some symptoms, they will attend distance learning for 13 days and the remaining students in the class will have to undergo tests as well,” she added.

Proper measures will also be taken in the event a teacher tests positive for the virus, Qubeilat noted.

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