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Education ministry regulates private foreign school work

KUWAIT: The ministry of education issued on Sunday a decree regulating private schools’ mechanism of work during the 2020-2021 academic year – including online platforms – in light of the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the decision, the platforms will be activated at private and bilingual schools that have British, American, French, Indian and Pakistani systems among others, the ministry’s assistant undersecretary for private education Abdul Mohsen Al-Huwaila said in a press statement.

According to the decision published on the ministry’s website, Huwaila added that the standards, measures and indicators that must be implemented on the e-learning platforms have been specified. He mentioned that these standards are related to educational bodies, electronic curricula, virtual classes, vocational training and student qualification, as well as measurement, evaluation and reports.

Working hours should be at least five per day starting from 8:30 am, Huwaila noted. On the kindergarten and primary levels, the ministerial decision allows foreign schools to begin studies for those enrolled in the two stages in the evening, starting from 3:00 pm after having the guardian’s approval, along with providing synchronous and non-synchronous learning resources, he pointed out. Teachers assigned to teach in the morning period should not be assigned to teach in the evening period unless with the teachers’ approval and for additional pay, the decree stipulates.

Furthermore, the decree sets the maximum student capacity in virtual classrooms as follows – British and French schools: 25 students for the kindergarten stage and 30 for the remaining stages; American and bilingual schools: 25 students for all stages; Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and Iranian schools: 30 students for the kindergarten stage and 40 for remaining stages.

The decree also specified the mechanism of collecting tuition fees in three installments – the first will be 40 percent of the total fees, and 30 percent for the second and the third installments in British, American, bilingual and French foreign schools, Huwaila said. However, the tuition fees in schools with other foreign educational systems are collected in two installments.

The fees include e-learning services, and those who violate these regulations will be punished, he stressed. Schools are not allowed to organize any activity contradicting educational purposes or any celebrations before having the ministry’s approval, Huwaila added. He said a specialized technical committee is being formed to study the operational and study plans submitted by schools and supervise the implementation of these plans. – KUNA

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