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Schools to open on September 12

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The new school academic year will begin on September 12 as vaccination for students and teaching staff gather pace and new coronavirus infections decline.

According to the Ministry of Education the opening of schools in the second week of next month will be based on strict adherence of Covid-19 protocol. The academic year will end on July 7, 2022.

For grades 1 to 6, a blended education system -- a combination of in-person and online classes -- will be followed. Low-density schools, however, with no more than 20 students to a class, will follow the direct education system where students attend classes on all school days.

The direct education system will be followed for grades 7 to 11. Schools with over 30 students to a class, however, will follow the blended education system.

The direct education system will be followed for grade 12. The ministry will announce the specific mechanism for blended and direct education at a later date.

The Sultanate had ended the last academic year early in May following a sharp spike in coronavirus infections.

The decision was based on the latest epidemiological situation in the Sultanate as the cases of Covid-19 infection in the country saw significant decline recently.

On Thursday last week, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 186 new cases and 7 deaths, while the recovery rate went up to 96.2 per cent.

Based on a recent study on how to reduce Covid-19 infections in schools, Dr Zaid al Hinai, a Pediatrics Consultant, said, “opening windows decreases infection 14-fold, face masks 8-fold, while other precautions decrease infection 30-fold.”

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