Middle East

Many prefer online education in a pandemic, despite government resistance

By Ahmad Jabr and Ben Garcia

Kuwait: Kuwait’s educational issues in the COVID-19 pandemic returned to the forefront yesterday when parliamentarians accused them of closing schools and returning to online education during parliamentary sessions. rice field. “The pandemic should not be used as an excuse to stop education,” MP Mubarak Al-Hajuraf said during the session, adding that closing the school should be considered a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, Parliamentarian Dr. Hamad al-Matal called for a clear answer from the Ministry of Health about the school situation, saying that the health and future of 650,000 students are at stake. “We don’t want to go back to online education,” he emphasized. Public, private and foreign schools have reopened this year after being closed for over a year due to a pandemic. Meanwhile, the school relied on online education.

The ministry has set a maximum classroom capacity of 20 people, and students must be 2 meters apart. For schools with more than 20 students per class, the classes are divided into two groups. The first group goes to school on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the second group goes to Mondays and Wednesdays. Next week, the groups will exchange attendance with the second group on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and the first group on Mondays and Tuesdays.

65 percent

The Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education claim to be working together to monitor school conditions and ensure compliance with health protocols. However, the daily increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of 2022 has raised concerns for both students, parents and teachers, and has rekindled the debate over whether education should be brought back online. According to a Kuwait Times survey on social media, 65% of respondents support a return to online education in Kuwait, and 35% disagree.

“We support online education because of the increasing number of cases. If you go to school, you will get infected with COVID. No matter how much the school takes preventive measures, you cannot tell who is infected with COVID.” One student commented. “For our own safety, take the final exam online.” “I also don’t like holding online classes, but I prefer to protect my family over going to school.” A commentator wrote.

“No one is trying to stop education. It’s just online for the safety of children,” said another commenter, especially after school, where “there are always a lot of students” and the health protocol is strict. He insisted that it was difficult to confirm that he was protected by. Meanwhile, teachers were skeptical about whether precautions were adequate. “They need to implement stricter rules. They can’t endanger the lives of so many teachers,” they write.

On the other hand, many believe that e-learning has a negative impact on education, far outweighing the positive impact. In a survey conducted by Ipsos last year, 65% said they prefer distance learning over face-to-face education, but 67% believe that having their children study at home has a negative impact on the home. One parent who participated in the Kuwait Times survey said, “Education has been damaged by being online for a long time and must be ended,” another parent said, “Children study at home.” No, just play the video. Game. “

Meanwhile, one student mentioned the psychological negative effects he faced when he received an online education last year. “I personally want to go to school and have fun, not the six hours of morning depression in online education,” they commented.

Test positive

Many students and parents are also worried, for example, that their children may become infected with COVID-19 before major exams. The current protocol requires schools to reschedule tests for students who test positive. However, there are concerns that some schools may not follow through.

Recently, there were several posts on social media that local school students were told that if they didn’t come to school on the exam day for COVID-19, they could fail the final exam. When asked for comment, the principal of the school in question violently denied the claim, insisting that they adhere to the rules of the Ministry of Education and schedule a new date for students who passed the exam.

When asked if the school would allow the test to be taken online instead, the principal explained that this option was not available. “The final exam has been instructed by the Ministry of Education to be conducted offline on campus,” said the principal. “If a student is infected with the virus, the exam schedule can be changed according to the ministry’s instructions.”

Approximately 15,000 children have been infected with the virus in Kuwait since February 2020, Dr. Mohammad Argunaim said in a parliamentary session yesterday, adding that seven children were among the total deaths from the virus during the same period. rice field. The Ministry of Health announced this week that it will begin vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years.

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/many-prefer-online-education-amid-pandemic-despite-govt-reluctance/ Many prefer online education in a pandemic, despite government resistance

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