RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education on Thursday spelled out details of how schools will operate starting Aug. 29.
In a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Hamad Al Al-Sheikh began with a review of the number of achievements the Kingdom has made since the start of the coronavirus disease pandemic, and reassured parents, education staff and students alike that their safety is a top priority.
As a rule, the ministry has previously stated that in accordance to the regulations issued by the Ministry of Health, students must be vaccinated in order to attend in-person schooling. Al-Sheikh said that “93 percent of students received one dose of the vaccine and 37 percent received two doses. As for university and higher education, 85 percent of students received received one dose and 59 percent completed their vaccinations.”
Students who were not able to receive their doses will remain at home and classes will be uploaded by their teachers on the ministry-approved Madrasati platform.
The minister said that SR1 billion ($266.6 million) was spent to equip schools with all necessary resources and establish precautionary health measures to ensure educational institutions are ready to welcome back students.
“Where one student is suspected to be infected or (an infection) confirmed, the class will be suspended for a duration of 10 days, and the educational process will automatically be diverted to online classes,” said Al-Sheikh, adding that if two cases were confirmed in different classes, the whole school will be transferred to online schooling immediately.
For the safety of families and others, teachers will upload daily lessons to isolating students online to complete their educational program.
As for elementary school students, the minister said that they will start the academic year remotely until Oct. 30, or until the Kingdom reaches herd immunity.