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A Kuwaiti teenager holds her phone showing off her COVID-19 vaccination certificate after receiving her shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Kuwait City on July 18, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Kuwait City: Around 900 schools are ready to reopen for in-person classes in September in line with health regulations, a local newspaper reported.

Yaseen Al Yaseen, Undersecretary of the Educational Facilities and Planning Sector at the Ministry of Education, said that they are working to complete all maintenance work before the start of the school year.

Though the government decided to reopen schools in March, the final announcement will be made in August whether to allow 100 per cent in person classes.

The education committee in the parliament is studying three scenarios for the upcoming education year: to return to 100 per cent in person classes; adopt hybrid model where 50 per cent is online and the rest is in person or to continue online classes depending on the situation.

Hamad Al Matar, parliement member and head of the committee, said that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 is not as bad of a risk compared to continuing with online learning. E-learning does provide students with a real education as school is more than that since in-person learning also teaches social and communication skills, he added.

Health regulations

The Ministry of Health also joined the efforts by starting to vaccinated children between 12 and 15 years old as of Sunday.

As for teachers and those above the age of 16, the ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, has prioritised the specific segment especially since in person exams took place last month. The 10th-12th grade students, across various schools, sat in for in-person exams after a heated debate as to whether it was safe or not.

Stranded teachers

Since the pandemic began a year and a half ago, many teachers have been stranded outside of Kuwait due to lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Al Matar pointed out that this is a big problem as there are around 1,700 teachers who work in the public sector who are stranded abroad. A plan has been set into motion to bring bck 1,500 of them.

As for private school teachers, he said that around 60 per cent of them are stuck abroad.

School closures

All schools, kindergartens and universities were closed since March 12, 2020 over the growing concern of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

After a seven-month halt, all public schools began the 2020/2021 academic year online. Private schools have continued with the e-learning method since the start of the pandemic.

The only schools that were given the green light to operate in-person lessons are schools for children with special needs, who resumed classes on December 20.