COVID-19: Over 500,000 teachers back to Saudi schools

Cairo: Some 525,000 teachers are to return Sunday to schools across Saudi Arabia to set the scene for the start of the new academic year overshadowed by the global new coronavirus pandemic, according to an education official.

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Last week, Saudi Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sheikh said that the first seven weeks of the school year, starting on August 30, will depend on distance-learning programmes as part of the kingdom’s efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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Spokeswoman for the Education Ministry Ibtisam Al Shihiri said that the returning teachers will prepare for distance-learning and will have to go to school at least one day every week.

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“Several teachers have already started their work and drawn up school schedules,” Ibtisam told Saudi television Al Ekhabariya.

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The ministry has completed training supervisors in using the online platform Madrasti (My School) and teachers’ training will be finalised next week, the official said.

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Saudi Arabia may extend distance-learning for schooling if a vaccine against COVID-19 is not made available and its safety is verified, Health Minister Tawfik Al Rbiah has said

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