Students still slated to return to class, despite COVID cases

The Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education (Photo: Saher Qadara/ Jordan News)
AMMAN — Some students and parents have shared concerns about children returning to school after eight cases of COVID-19 were recorded among students attending Jordan’s remedial program.اضافة اعلان

The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education for Administrative and Financial Affairs Najwa Qubailat announced on Sunday that eight students in the remedial education program had caught COVID-19. Students are slated to return to in-class learning on September 1.

Mahmoud Sawair, a father, told Jordan News that "I was excited that my children are getting back to classroom learning especially since I believe that classroom learning gives students a feeling of seriousness."

"But after I heard that eight students were infected with corona just after a few days of going to schools … I have started to feel afraid and nervous," he said.

Sawair further stated: "This is a bad sign that gives an indication of what could happen in the next days. I always teach my children how to behave in these hard circumstances, how to sanitize every now and then, not to shake hands with their friends, and of course to keep their masks on all the time."

However, he added that in the end they are children and you cannot always guarantee that they will remain safe and healthy.

Likewise, Lamia Hisham, a mother told Jordan News that "I have felt afraid and worried since I have first heard that students will go back to classroom learning in September."

Hisham added that her children were doing well with distance learning and that she would dedicate time to support them and make sure they did not miss anything.

"Recording 8 new cases among students is not news that we should ignore," she said. "The government should either raise awareness among students and teaching staff, or tighten measures taken to ensure everyone is safe."

An official source at the Ministry of Education told Jordan News that people "must be confident that the epidemiological situation allows us to take such a decision."

The official added that thousands of students registered and attended the country’s remedial education program and only eight students caught COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health has previously stated that to return to distance learning would require 10 percent of a single school’s students to catch COVID cases.

"We are working together with the Ministry of Health, and all our decisions are based on scientific studies and aim to preserve student’s health,” the source said. “Their safety is a priority for us, and whenever we feel that classroom learning could put them in danger we will take immediate decision to protect them and the whole situation will differ then."

The source added that schools will ask students to take random PCR tests every now and then.

"We believe that everyone should work with us hand in hand to guarantee that students are safe so we highly recommend that students themselves, teaching staff, and even parents should take the vaccine," he said.

Qubailat told local media on Sunday that "The Ministry of Education has conducted, as of Thursday evening, about 10,884 rapid random examinations on students, of which 14 were positive, and were transferred to the Ministry of Health for a PCR examination, and it was found that only eight of them were infected."

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