Schools reopening
Schools reopening Image Credit: Shutterstock

UAE: Schools review range of options as they reopen

I would like to touch on keeping the lines of communication open at schools in these trying times (“Coronavirus: How are UAE schools preparing to welcome back students in September?”, Gulf News, June 06). Schools will be reopening in a few weeks' time. Parents have been given the option, whether their children will be educated home, online or attending school. Some parents will be sending their children to school, due to the fact that they are working, and have no one to take care of their children at home. However, it puts a lot of strain on teachers. Preparing for live or online classes are different, and take a lot of effort and input from teachers.

There are in class as well as online assessments. This increases the workload tenfold! I'm a teacher, and I am not complaining about the preparation, but imploring schools to have a plan in place, before schools start, and to share this plan with their teachers as soon as possible. This plan should clearly set out: Which teaching methods should be followed, how will ongoing assessments be done, will break times be scattered throughout the school etc. Most parents assume that if a teacher is teaching online from home, they are available 24/7. I have never in my 30 years of teaching, worked so hard, and such long hours as I did this past online teaching period.

Parents were still sending messages at 2 am, when I had just dropped down to sleep for a few hours, before the start of my new day. If we didn't answer immediately, we would get a "Hallooo!" or another prompt message to respond to. I am hopeful that schools' management teams will be ready to lead their staff in these difficult times, and keep the communication lines open at all times to guide and support their staff.

From Ms Sarah


2020: What is next in store for us?

2020 just seems to drop awful news from across the globe so far (“Beirut blast: Lebanese hospitals struggling to help the injured after port explosion”, Gulf News, August 05). A little more than half of the year and yet it is already so tiring. The year started with the coronavirus that had then infected thousands of humans only for it to increase tremendously, in a couple of weeks. The passing away of three legends of Bollywood, Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, and Sushant Singh Rajput. The year 2020 also saw various fires all around the world, flooding in many cities, and has become an unprecedented year that nobody anticipated. The random fires and blasts that took place this year are unforgettable. From the big explosions of Lebanon to Iran, they seem to occur one after the other. North Korea, India and Sudan all seem to be facing flood issues while also being distressed with the virus. The year has been a little uplifting, and favourable with the accomplishment of distance learning. Quarantine being over for some countries, while some countries entirely wiped of COVID-19 spread, and most importantly every individual learnt it was okay to be susceptible during such a tough time for everyone. What is next in store for us? Hopefully, something better.

From Ms Zahra Abdul Razaq


India: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award nominees for 2020

This letter refers to your report that five athletes have been nominated for this year Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (“Rohit Sharma nominated by BCCI for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award”, Gulf News, May 30). While it is heartening to note that this list includes the name of Tamil Nadu athlete Mariappan, and since this includes the name of Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma, none of the athletes nominated stand any chance to get this award. No doubt Rohit Sharma was on a purple patch till the semi-final clash against New Zealand, where he and the other top players failed in unison to lose the match. In my opinion, the first choice should be Vinesh Phogat, who bagged gold medals in 2019 Common Wealth Games and Asian Games, followed by Mariappan, who too won the gold medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Well, let us keep our fingers crossed.

From Mr N Mahadevan


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