Parents want early closure of schools over MERS fears

Updated 20 May 2014

Parents want early closure of schools over MERS fears

School authorities have come under pressure from parents to hold exams earlier this year in the wake of the rising rate of coronavirus fatalities, which has crossed the 100 mark.
Parents with infection-prone kindergarteners are particularly anxious about the situation.
“Do they want a child first to fall ill with MERS before taking action?” asked Shazad Ahmed, a parent. “Schools are a breeding ground for any type of infection. While it is true that the ministry is working hard to combat the virus and that there have been no cases among students so far, there is no reason why the Education Ministry can’t take preventive measures by closing down schools earlier this year.”
Amina Shareef, another parent, disagreed with the recent decision to allocate quarantine rooms on school premises.
“This will create more panic,” she said. “They are better off scheduling exams earlier and closing down a month early rather than creating more fear among students and parents.”
Teachers should grade students according to their performance throughout the year and in previous exams if they cannot hold exams earlier than scheduled, she suggested.
A schoolteacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Arab News that several parents, especially parents with children in kindergarten, have requested that exams end by May 8.
“We have to keep both our students’ well-being and their academic performance and their parents’ wishes in mind,” said Padma Hariharan, director of the Novel International Group of Institutions.
“We have stepped up efforts to ensure that any student or member of staff who shows signs of illness is immediately sent home and asked to return when they have fully recovered,” she said.
The Education Ministry has put field trips on hold, she said. “We are finding it increasingly difficult to run our schools with the new measures and with pressure mounting from parents to shut down early.”
She said parents have asserted that they will not send their children to school while demanding that the schools not sit around and wait for the worse to happen.
“If the Education Ministry decides to shut schools down earlier than scheduled, we must be informed beforehand so that teachers are able to fit remaining classes into their schedule. We will only declare a holiday when the ministry gives the go-ahead and hope for support from the ministry.”
Sadiya Kaleem, the principal of Al-Hukma International School, also said that parents of children at her school are demanding an early closure.
International schools are scheduled to break for summer in the first week of June.


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”