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Report on main challenges faced by the Ministry in terms of distance-learning

First: The Education Sector (Public Schools – Sent to Danny in a previous email):

Second: The Education Sector (Private Schools):

First:  Many private schools do not apply distance-learning programmes. To this purpose, those schools have been supported through a coordination/partnership with Microsoft for the provision of necessary equipment and systems. Other schools have also agreed to support those schools via the provision of tailored trainings. Thus, all private schools are now applying distance learning programmes but with diversified levels of expertise, depending on their former experience in this area.

Second: A number of parents did not pay tuition fees covering the third semester, which resulted in the inability of many schools owners to continue paying wages of teachers and buildings’ rents (in additional to other obligations such as bank loans).

The importance for parents to pau tuition fees was emphasized. It was also recommended that private schools should take into account the conditions of parents in case they have difficulties to pay fees through specific payment facilities and reschedule.

Third: The lack of devices within low-income families and “low-cost” schools.

(The Ministry has committed to limit the number of these families, to provide a device for each vulnerable family in coordination with Qatar Charity and a number of other governmental and semi-governmental institutions present in the country).

Fourth: The inability of some parents to follow-up their children with distance learning programmes ; and the absence of parents during morning period, which further complicates the monitoring process.

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has stressed amongst private schools the need to balance the application of distance learning programmes, allow for flexible arrangement; take into account the conditions of some parents who face difficulties.

Fifth: The difficulty to train students and parents on the use of distance learning programme and platforms, especially in the case of schools that did not apply this technology in the past.

Schools were alerted on the need to ensure continuous follow-up and communication with parents and to provide them with a hotline to ensure that all enquiries are answered if technical difficulties arise.

A number of schools have also created online platforms on their official websites to ease parents and students’ access to lessons and homework.  

Third: The Evaluation Sector:

The challenges faced by the Ministry regarding the exams system in public schools in light of the current situation:

First: The distance learning system for grades 1 to 11 (daytime)

• Difficulty to verify the extent of students ’commitment to solving applications by themselves, which reflects the lack of credibility of the results and outputs

Second: The twelfth grade test (daytime + adult education) and grades one through eleven (adult education).

• These students are not covered by the distance learning system (for the exams) due to the specificities of their exams and, therefore, will perform their exams according to the approved evaluation system.

• The Ministry is facing pressure from students and parents. They expressed fears that their children will go to schools to take exams, and they are calling on the Ministry to search for alternatives solutions.

• In this regard, the Ministry has taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of student and school personnel during the exams period, as follows:

Students are redeployed across the premises of examination committees (day learning and adult education), where students (adult education) of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades, as well as students of private schools that apply the national standards for the twelfth grade, have been transferred to specific examination locations. This will reduce the number of students in the examination committees.

– Reducing the number of students in exams rooms in all schools (day and adult education):

– Number of students (8) in regular classes.

– Number of students (40) at the gym.

The distance between students should be at least three meters.

Reducing the exams time for each subject to one and a half hours instead of two and a half hours.

The required health requirements will be applied as follows:

1. Sterilization of schools during the period of exams by specialized companies.

2. Coordination with the Ministry of Health to ensure that a nurse is present in every school during the exams period.

Schools are required to take perform temperature checks for students and staff (by dedicated nurse)

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