Riyadh to set up a student council

Updated 19 March 2016

Riyadh to set up a student council

RIYADH: The Riyadh education department plans to set up a student council so that learners can be more involved in decisions about their education and develop management and organizational skills needed by the country.
This is according to Muhammad Al-Murshed, director general of the department, who made the remarks at a meeting attended by Hamed Al-Shunaiber, assistant director for school affairs, and other officials, according to a report in a local publication recently.
Al-Murshed said there is a great deal of expectations placed on male and female students to take up the responsibility of developing the nation, which means they should have the requisite skills.
One way to achieve this is by setting up a student council, which would consist of 28 male and 28 female students in Riyadh, who would be required to discuss pressing issues facing learners, he said.
They would have the responsibility of taking up grievances and other issues with the administration. “The objectives of this project are to promote and strengthen national values, to entrench a culture of dialogue among students, to support their participation in the decision-making process, and develop their leadership skills,” he said.
He said the council would be able to communicate directly with his office. Membership requirements include that they should be citizens, achieving at least 95 percent academically, and have received regional or international awards.
Al-Murshed and Al-Shunaiber granted 120 students Excellence Awards for their distinguished behavior. The awards aim to instill moral and patriotic values in students.
On a related matter, the department launched Sunday a program to reduce arguments and fights among students outside school grounds.

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 42 min 52 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.