Muscat: In the context of the reopening of schools in Oman, Indian Schools in Oman have announced that they shall be continuing with the remote instruction and schooling for the month of November 2020, with further decision on the topic to be made only in January 2021,once the classes resume after winter break. The online-only medium will continue for all Grades, including Grades X & XII.
A survey was recently carried out among parents to identify their preferences on the resumption of on-campus classes, and understand the acceptance of online schooling. The decision to continue the remote schooling is based on the input received from parents showing their overwhelming preference for online classes for the current academic term, considering the pandemic situation.
In light of the successful adoption and acceptance of remote lessons, and the upcoming winter break, the Board of Directors has decided to continue with the status quo until after the classes resume after the vacation. In January 2021, the Board shall re-evaluate the situation, in compliance with the Ministry of Education, taking all stakeholders into confidence.
“The Board and the schools are continually assessing the Covid situation as well as the best interests of all stakeholders, including parents and students. We assure that we shall continue to offer the highest quality of learning to our students and will explore blended learning opportunities next year to ensure that both educational as well as health and safety needs are met with adequately”, said Dr. Baby Sam Saamuel, Chairman, Board of Directors, Indian schools in Oman.
In response to the announcement of school closures as a mitigation strategy for the containment of Covid-19 outbreak in Oman, the Board of Directors of Indian Schools had quickly implemented a transition to online mode. In March 2020, VLE lessons were prepared as an immediate response to the educational needs of the senior children. This was soon followed by full transition to various virtual platforms for all Grades. All 21 Indian Schools across the Sultanate were equipped with virtual platforms and the teachers were trained to conduct online classes for the students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 from April 2020.
Following the CBSE curriculum, the academic term began in April 2020. The Board had also decided to postpone the annual break to December. Therefore, the Indian Schools in Oman have so far already completed seven months of online schooling and have also conducted online formative assessments for the students of the middle, secondary and senior secondary sections.
Despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19, the Board has continued to focus on holistic education of students and has conducted several virtual co-curricular events such as IS Quiz 2020, an Inter-School Quiz programme, Polemic Challenge 2020, and webinars on cancer awareness and mental health. The Schools are also geared up for virtual versions of the annual art, cultural and literary competitions. In addition, Avenir 2020, a nine-day virtual career guidance event is scheduled for the latter half of November for facilitating senior students with guidance on prospective courses for their higher education.