An overwhelming majority of 85 percent parents from 34,300 respondents who voted in online survey has urged the authorities to postpone opening of schools from September 1.
The majority of parents wants to defer classroom teaching under blended learning for first semester starting from September 1, 2020. They urged the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to allow schools to run only distance learning to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The parents responded to an online survey conducted by The Peninsula newspaper on its readers’ request. In the survey, the parents were asked whether they are in support of reopening schools from September 1, 2020 or do they support postponement.
As many as 34,300 parents took part in the survey in which a thumping majority (85 percent respondents) opted for postponement while only 15 percent people favoured for reopening of schools from September 1.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education had announced to apply blended learning during the first semester of the next academic year 2020-21. Under the new learning system, a combination of online and classroom-based learning will be implemented in all stages of education across public and private schools, preschools and the higher education institutions.
Schools also found the blended learning system more challenging as it requires to run parallel distance learning with classroom teaching.
Responding to the survey, a parent urged the authorities to postpone the classroom learning for at least the first semester.
“Please postpone the schedule from September to December at least and then analyse and go ahead. Health is above everything. Qatar always believes in safety first, looking forward for safety of kids,” a parent commented.
Another respondent said: “Kids are safe at home. They have well adjusted to online classes and there are no issues at all. This way they are safe and we feel less anxious too. Even online exams were conducted and all is well with online classes. Please, please postpone. This is a humble request from us parents.”
Another parent noted that reopening school will be to risky for kids unless the virus completely vanishes. He said that the school management will also be in stress all the time for taking care for small kids instead of putting attention on their study.
Another respondent said that every child’s health is of greatest importance especially during these tough times. “With the cases fluctuating daily, we are reluctant to send our son to school knowing the risk involved. Please reach a decisive state for continuing online studies until the situation subsides,” he added.
A parent who supported the reopening of classroom teaching said that the kids have been off school for six months. They need to get back to school as soon as possible. “Children’s mental health also needs to be considered and throughout we have been told the virus poses very little danger to them. I cannot understand anyone who wants schools to be closed even longer,” he added.
“Our kids need to go back to school. This is the new normal. What we need to do is to educate our children on health and safety,” said a respondent.
Speaking to The Peninsula, an administrator from a private school, said that the parents of KG students are more worried about classroom teaching compared to those in upper grades. “The school which is operating in Qatar with five branches accommodating over 3,000 students from KG to Grade 10 started preparation to welcome the students from September 1,” said the administrator.
He said that the school will reopen with its all branches following the directive of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, implementing the preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.