Sunday, 20 September, 2020

Iran rings in new school year two weeks earlier amid special COVID-19 measures

Iran rings in the new school year two weeks earlier than usual amid special COVID-19 measures, with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani promising a “school year contrasting with all previous school years in the last century”.

The new school year kicked off on Saturday with the announcement of Rouhani and Education Minister Mohsen Haji-Mirzaei.

According to Haji-Mirzaei, all schools will be reopening regardless of the COVID-19 situation of their respective regions while enforcing the coronavirus protocols.

Schools have been largely closed in the past months since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, compelling most of the country’s 14.5 million school-aged children to pursue classes online.

Most classes were held over the domestic “Shad” online learning app as part of a joint initiative between the Education Ministry and Ministry of Information and Communications.

This year, however, classes will be held through a combination of in-classroom, online and televised sessions.

‘Schools to rigorously enforce COVID-19 discipline’

Speaking to mark the event, Rouhani said the continued education of the country’s young generation was a must and that school closures would be synonymous with abandoning the cultivation of the country’s next generation.

“It is important for us that the education systems functions correctly,” he said.

The president said that education during the upcoming year would be different compared to any other year.

“This year will be a year of strict discipline for students, something like training barracks,” he said, adding that in-classroom sessions will be shortened with more home assignments being given instead.

He added that due to physical-distancing requirements, in-classroom sessions may be held every two days with students taking part in online classes instead.

“I ask all teachers to provide the children with a calm environment,” he said, adding that, “if health procedures are followed, masks are worn and physical distancing is observed, we can avoid this virus”.

He added that “the foremost responsibility of our dear teachers is to counter the coronavirus,” by enforcing special COVID-19 guidelines.

Iran has been contending with the coronavirus pandemic amid US sanctions, which have seriously hampered efforts to contain the outbreak.

More than 382,770 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Iran as of Friday. More than 22,040 have died, while 330,308 have recovered.

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