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Students partially returned to classes in different schools in Qatar today for their second semester amid strict measures against the coronavirus. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Students today partially returned to classes in different schools in Qatar for their second semester amid strict measures against the coronavirus.

Last month, the country’s Education Ministry announced increasing the average attendance rate at all public and private schools as well as kindergartens to reach 50 per cent of their overall capacity in the second semester during which students are divided into two groups for alternate attendance. According to the arrangement, 50 per cent of the students at each school attend the class for one week and get access to distance schooling the following week.

An education system blending class attendance and online learning will continue to be applied alternately. Text messages have been sent to parents including health directives, school schedules and timetables for online learning, Al Sharq newspaper reported today, quoting school officials. As part of precautions against the virus, students attending classes are required to wear protective face masks, and observe distancing of at least 1.5 metres between each other while more gates are designated for school entry to avoid crowding.

The Education Ministry said that the rise in class attendance rate aims at gradual return of students in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health while abiding by precautions against COVID-19.

Average attendance

In October, Qatar scrapped a system giving students the choice between class attendance and online learning. Starting from November 1, authorities made school attendance mandatory and started applying a system combining alternate school attendance and distance learning. At the time, average attendance was set for 42 per cent of the overall capacity at each school.

Qatar, a country of 2.7 million people, so far has reported a tally of 144,240 virus cases and 245 related deaths.

Itstarted the first stage of mass vaccinations against the highly infectious ailment on December 23.