Ithra prepares students, families for ‘challenging’ school return

ithra’s ‘back to school’ program is focusing on parents and teachers. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 24 August 2020

Ithra prepares students, families for ‘challenging’ school return

  • Professional help for students, parents and teachers to overcome challenges and resume education after pandemic

JEDDAH: Students, teachers and parents are getting an extra learning boost for their children’s start to the new school year with Ithra’s “Back to School” program.

The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) program aims to prepare students, parents and educators for a productive learning experience amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The program will teach those involved how to deal with the pandemic in terms of personal, emotional, physical and social development and will include virtual, on-site and mixed courses from Aug. 24 to Sept. 19.

Noura Al-Zamil, Ithra’s head of learning, told Arab News that while some students are hesitant to return to school following the pandemic, the program will help them overcome emotional turmoil and learn in comfort again.

“After the lockdown, we all know we have been affected emotionally,” Al-Zamil said.

“There are a lot of emotional challenges now; children are not comfortable, some are traumatized about going back to school or going out and parents are worried. We are trying to touch on that to make them emotionally prepared,” she added.

Ithra launched their “Back to School” program in 2019 which focused on going back to school as a family and learning together. This year, Al-Zamil said it is focusing on parents and teachers, helping them to support children through virtual learning and home study.

“This year, we offered virtual and hybrid experiences where we invite speakers from the Gulf to offer workshops and talks at Ithra and broadcast it through YouTube,” Al-Zamil said.

The workshops will help parents create study places at home and routines for their children.

“We are also offering family experiences where we get to have the family as a whole experience learning together and give them a taste of how it could be fun and engaging,” Al-Zamil said.

For teachers, the program is offering new techniques like play-based learning.

“You can have students in control and ask questions to make them more engaged. It is possible to make the virtual experience more interesting for students and teachers so they can both have fun virtually,” Al-Zamil said.

The program will feature a range of experts and education specialists to help students customize their new school year with ease and understand and face the challenges that lie ahead.

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.


• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.