(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
AMMAN — The recent recommendation of the Central Planning Committee at the Education Ministry on postponing the start of the second semester of the 2021/2022 scholastic year in national schools has drawn mixed reactions from parents, students and teachers.
As per the recommendation, the classes will start on February 20 for kindergarten to the 11th grades, however, Tawjihi (the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) students will resume in-person classes as of February 1.
Many teachers expressed their concern for postponing the classes, noting that this winter holiday is the longest in years; to exceed 55 days if the recommendation is approved.
Amneh Bteikh, an 11th grade and tawjihi chemistry teacher at a private school, said that postponing the classes is 'an unnecessary procedure' because the students have already missed skills and information, as some lessons were delayed for the second semester.
She noted that it took a long time to prepare students and make them mentally ready for classes at the beginning of the semester, after a long period of distance education.
Majd Manaseer, a private school English teacher, agreed with Bteikh's opinion on the recommendation.
The recommendation, if approved, has negative impacts on the education system as a whole, Manaseer added.
'We are currently giving intensive classes for students in the second half of the winter holiday to recover the skills they missed. The school also gives courses to the teachers on various educational topics,' she noted.
Alaa' Al Amyan, a mother of three, said that the recommendation should be reconsidered, expressing her concern regarding the switch to distance education.
'I hope that they will continue with in-class education as my kids benefitted from the interactive atmosphere and it really made them gain knowledge and skills, most importantly handwriting,' she told The Jordan Times.
Eman Hindawi, a supervisor at a private international school, said that she is with the recommendation and against it at the same time.
'I'm with the recommendation in terms of the Kingdom's epidemiological condition as we are registering thousands of cases everyday,' she said.
Hindawi said that the reason she disagrees with the decision is educational loss, noting that the students lacked many skills that the teachers are trying to recover.
'We don't our students to be apart from the schools for a long period of time; they returned to school at the beginning of the semester fully excited to meet their friends, affecting their psychological health positively,' she added.
On schools' preparations and measures in response to the pandemic, teachers expressed their administrations' abidance by COVID measures.
'COVID measures are being strictly applied in our school, whether relating to physical distancing, maskwearing, or even vaccination certificates that each teacher must have,' Balsam Amr, a private English teacher, told The Jordan Times.
Ayesh Al Nawayseh, an educational expert, told Khaberni, a local online news outlet, that the Education Ministry should consider cancelling the summer holiday, justifying that the epidemiological situation is expected to be better in upcoming summer.
He added that postponing the second semester would help increase the number of citizens receiving the vaccine and bring an end to the Omicron variant wave.
However, the Education Ministry said in a statement that the decision is in line with the epidemiological situation in Jordan and the world, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Meanwhile, some parents welcomed the recommendation due to the pandemic's situation in the Kingdom.
Rafah Allabadi, a mother of three, said that she fully agrees with postponing the classes until February 20.
'I'm with the decision provided that education continues to be in-person. The epidemiological situation necessitates delaying classes because the virus is spreading quickly,' she said.
Allabadi noted that despite abiding by all COVID measures, the virus will still spread within the classroom.
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