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Schools re-open for classes in Jordan

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JORDAN’S Ministry of Education has revealed that more than 800,000 students have begun a “mental and scientific rehabilitation” program, marking an experimental return to in-class education before a planned full reopening of schools.

  The Ministry of Education said that the Kingdom’s 3,971 public schools opened to receive a total of 814,000 students from grades 1-11, who registered for the “Academic Loss Compensation Program.”

  The number of students in Jordan stands at about two million, 1.5 million studying at public schools and 500,000 at the country’s 2,142 private schools.

  The program, according to the ministry, seeks to prepare pupils mentally and academically to return to school and make up for the lessons they have missed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  The ministry said that it trained teachers at the beginning of August on implementing the Academic Loss Compensation Program.

Jordan, which imposed a nationwide shutdown of schools at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened them on Feb. 7 this year but closed them again on March 9 following a surge in coronavirus cases. Lessons have been given online through the “Darsak” platform, which provides educational content for public school students from grade one to 12.

  Without giving a date for the long-awaited reopening of schools, Ministry of Education’s Secretary General for Administrative and Financial Affairs Najwa Qbeilat said that the Academic Loss Compensation Program aims to help students acquire the basic skills and knowledge that they lost as a result of the online education system (that has been in place since March last year).

  “The program aims to compensate students for academic losses in Arabic, English, math and science subjects, program will be evaluated in September to decide on the timing of the third phase, which will run between one to two years and through which students will be given weekly classes. ” she added.

  Officials have been promising a full in-person education model this year should the epidemiological situation continue improving, but also warned of a blended learning of online and offline classes in case of a pandemic setback.

  The Ministry of Education has previously said that schools would be operating within a health protocol guide that includes many procedures, mainly the rapid coronavirus test, which would be carried out by teachers and health supervisors.

  It said that schools will be provided with the necessary testing tools and that student with positive test results will be granted a 14-day study leave, during which they can switch to online learning while the rest of students continue their in-class learning.

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