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January 23 2022 8:38 PM ˚
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Concerns mount over classroom education due to surge in COVID-19 cases

School students sitting in a classroom
(Photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Students and parents have been voicing concerns about the continuity of classroom education after more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the return to schools, coupled with growing uncertainties over the vaccination of children under 18 years of age.اضافة اعلان

Lamia Al-Abdallah, a mother of a school student, told Jordan News that she will not consent to vaccinating her children anytime soon, not wishing to subject them to the side effects she endured.  “I felt fatigued with a fever that lasted for couple of days, and I am in my mid-thirties but still suffered the side effects, so how would the children feel?” She said many of her friends and colleagues share the same view about the vaccine, adding that the best decision the government should consider, in the meantime, is to return to online learning.

Abdallah also urged strict control over the recommended safety measures at schools, mainly to keep on the facemasks, respect physical distancing and sanitize constantly, noting that she has often seen no compliance when she picked her children up from school. 

Adopting the same approach, Mahmoud Al-Deiri, a father, told Jordan News that the government should reconsider returning to online learning immediately, especially in light of understandable concerns among parents and children, more so after the emergence of the new variant Omicron.  “Those are children; they want to play, shake hands and engage with others, and cannot adhere to safety measures.”
 
Discouraged about allowing his children to get vaccinated, Deiri said he would only consent if children’s vaccination became mandatory.  “I don’t believe in the efficiency of the vaccine to protect children against the virus,” he admitted, hoping the government would rather resort to online learning than force the vaccine on children. 

Member of the Epidemiology Committee Mohammad Nsour said that students are encouraged to get vaccinated, assuring that vaccines are totally safe and have proven their efficacy. The target age group, he said, is children aged 12-17 years, “not only to protect themselves but also their families and friends.”

A source from the Ministry of Education told Jordan News that masks and hygiene are distributed to students to help protect and ensure their safety. The source said if children showed any of the illness symptoms, they would be requested to take a few-days of house rest and get a negative PCR test before returning to school, adding that there should be no concern about school attendance by either parents or students.

He urged “not to pay attention to rumours” and assured that the ministry takes its decisions based on the interest of students, while ruling out a return to online learning. 

Monday recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infection, with 2000 cases among students and 258 among teachers, according to the secretary-general of the Ministry of Education for Administrative and Financial Affairs, Najwa Qubailat.

Nationwide, Jordan ranked 16th globally and first in the Arab world in the number of COVID-19 cases receiving hospital care, while it came 39th globally and second in the Arab world with active cases, according to the worldometers website. 

The number of COVID-19 related fatalities has risen to 11,584 since the start of the pandemic, and until the writing of the report, 58,530 laboratory tests were conducted, with a positive test rate of 9.67 percent.

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