* Teams platform will help 'allow 300,000 students to pursue their education'
Grade 12 examinations will take place as scheduled in June, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Fawzia al-Khater has said.
She noted that there are a lot of studies on the negative impact of stopping school and academics for long periods, and students lose a number of key skills. She added that distance learning allows students to continue the educational process and enhance their skills.
She made the observation during a press conference held by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management on Tuesday.
In her reply to a question, al-Khater indicated that all decisions issued by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education are concerned with both private and government schools alike, with a "difference in the curricula that some of them have in private schools for students to take exams", the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) said in a report.
On the strain and increased traffic on the distance learning website, al-Khater said the Teams platform will be used as another outlet and will allow 300,000 students to pursue their education.
She pointed out that the hotline is experiencing intense pressure but a large number of calls are being answered. Statistics indicate that 1,540 calls were received, of which 1,500 were answered. While this is a large number, efforts are on to develop a mechanism to answer all enquiries, she added.
With regard to taking into account the inability of some families to provide tablets for all of their children, she explained that the distance learning system requires that the family possesses only one device, and each student needs one hour only. Schools were directed to identify families who need tablets and such institutes have already started distributing devices to families, not to every student, she informed.
She explained that in co-operation with Qatar Media Corporation, there are television channels broadcasting video lessons to benefit students through scheduled times in addition to the availability of lessons on YouTube, QNA added.
Al-Khater stressed that the distance learning option is the only option available in this crisis.
Meanwhile, speaking on the contracts that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will sign and the type of products that will be provided in this framework, Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Saleh Majid al-Khulaifi said the products include major goods such as wheat, powdered milk, rice, frozen meat, sugar and oil.
Al-Khulaifi noted that this step aims to raise the current stock, as these materials in the current stock are available under the supervision of "food security". The current stage aims to raise the storage capacity of the State and ensure the presence of reserves of these main products in the event of any supply disruption.