ABQ schools shine bright despite COVID-19 related challenges

Roundup Sunday 06/June/2021 18:00 PM
By: Times News Service
ABQ schools shine bright despite COVID-19 related challenges

Muscat: Responding to the COVID-19 situation with a very comprehensive live online education offering, ABQ Education Group, the largest private school operator in Oman, is setting an exemplar standard in the sector.

ABQ Education Group has been at the forefront of hybrid-based education when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Oman in recent times. The three ABQ international schools, ABQ Azzan Bin Qais, ABQ Sohar and ABQ Seeb, were the first to offer Chromebooks to all students to ensure uninterrupted learning, facilitated in the most effective manner.

Constantly changing the future of education in Oman schools, under the ambit of ABQ Education Group, are continuously searching for ways to better prepare their students for the future and to identify the skills required to eventually be competitive in a global economy. Whilst they focus on the students in front of them, their eyes are always on the way forward.

Humayun Kabir, Chief Executive Officer, ABQ Education Group, says, “Our goal for the students is the acquisition of relevant knowledge, suitable skills, and the 'can do' attitude necessary to continuously learn and adapt in a rapidly changing world. This approach remains, irrespective of the mode of delivery whether it be face-to-face, live online or hybrid learning. We are prepared!”

Commending the school for pioneering a strategic and responsive online educational experience for students over the past year, Zahra Mahmood Al Lawati, an ABQ parent said, “We have benchmarked the standard and quality of education at ABQ with other schools. ABQ stands exceptional in serving the community distinctively in the education stream. The same has been witnessed during the pandemic where our children continued so smoothly due to ABQ's ability to provide all the necessary platforms for education continuity.”

ABQ has invested significantly in securing Chromebooks for all their students, as well as the sourcing of various suitable online resources, additional staff training, and personal protective equipment for all students and staff. This formed part of the tools supplied to all students to successfully complete their academic year, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19. It is offered to ABQ students at no extra cost to the parents.

Appreciating the school on its impeccable education delivery another ABQ parent, Muhammad Saleem, said, “The steps taken by the school to adapt to the new normal, by investing in technological tools to support teaching and learning, are really appreciated. The teachers deserve commendation for their hard work, commitment, dedication and keeping the students actively engaged in learning.”

Humayun Kabir further noted, “We live in a world where the pace of change is constantly accelerating - the past year even more rapidly than before. As an education provider, we cannot prepare our students for this new reality if we ourselves do not evolve and change. The reality of constant change is the fundamental driver of evolution at ABQ.”

“We are noticing a significant drop in the standard of education of students currently writing our entrance assessments. COVID-19 has certainly had a direct impact on the quality of education at many schools. To meet this challenge, we are introducing an innovative programme to ensure that every new student feels ready and equipped to embrace the 2021-22 academic year,” he added.

This summer, ABQ is launching an online bridging course, the ABQ Get Ready Programme, for all KG to Grade VI students who join an ABQ school for the first time in September. Once enrolled, each student will receive their own ABQ 1:1 Chromebook laptop and be ready to engage with their specialist teachers. This forms part of ABQ’s ongoing commitment to quality education.

Humayun Kabir concludes, “We are optimistic that schools will be able to open physically in September. However, ABQ Azzan Bin Qais, ABQ Sohar and ABQ Seeb are fully prepared for the 2021-22 academic year, irrespective of the mode of delivery required to give our students the best possible learning experience. Going forward, the tools and capabilities we have developed due to COVID-19 will always be part and parcel of our education delivery. The clock will not be turned back.”

With over 45 years of cumulative school operating experience and 300+ educators, ABQ has a wealth of knowledge and expertise within their group. This has enabled them to become the largest private school operator in Oman - with 3 schools, more than 3000 students, 400+ staff members and 21 subjects offered.