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Students begin trickling back to schools in Qatar
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Students begin trickling back to schools in Qatar

Santhosh Chandran 
Doha  
Schools across Qatar reopened after months-long COVID-19-induced shutdown on Tuesday. 
While 340,000 students are expected to resume in-person schooling this academic year, each day’s attendance in a school will be restricted to 30 percent of its total strength to ensure social distancing among the students, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has said.
In keeping with the existing COVID-19 protocol, the body temperatures of students were read before admitting them onto the campuses. 
While masks are compulsory for preparatory and secondary students, it is not mandatory for primary school students as it could be difficult for children to wear a mask while they are in school.
For primary schools, the parents can decide whether or not their children should wear masks in schools.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, a senior official of an Indian school said, “We have put in place all the required measures as per the government guidelines. New seating arrangement in each classroom ensures at least a 1.5 metre-radius of space around each student.”
According to Qatar’s back-to-school plan, the 2020/21 academic year will see schools combining online and in-person learning and will resume the academic activities in a phased manner.
The first three days are dedicated to raising awareness among students on disease-prevention and the dos and don’ts on campus, the official said.
Under the new rules, a student must attend in-person class seven days a month.  However, students with chronic diseases and those who have a first-degree relative who is suffering from a chronic disease are exempt from attending in-person classes.
Parents are also urged not to send their children to schools if they show symptoms of illness.
The ministry has announced that attendance in schools is not mandatory in the first two weeks of September.

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