Saudi Arabia to resume in-person classes for primary, kindergarten students

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health on Sunday announced the resumption of in-person classes for students in kindergarten and primary grades, after nearly two years of suspension due to the COVID-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The attendance will resume for those under 12 years old, starting from Sunday, January 23, 2022. As it includes all students in the government, private, international and foreign schools.

Students with health conditions are exempt from the decision. Instead, they can continue to opt for distance learning.

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The Ministry of Education is implementing precautionary measures in schools, such as masks, sanitizers and social distancing as part of its readiness for welcoming back the students.

The decision came as a result of the successful efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Ministries of Education and Health, and the Public Health Authority “Weqaya” to bring about social immunity in the implementation of the safeguards protocols for the safe attendance of the intermediate and secondary stages.

The new academic year in Saudi Arabia began in late August with a revival of in-person classes for intermediate and secondary school students after a break of more than a year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Activities involving personal contacts were excluded as a precaution.

On December 1, Saudi health authorities began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11  after the Saudi Food and Drug Authority approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for this age group.

In early 2020, Saudi Arabia had suspended in-person classes and switched to distance-learning as part of stringent measures to curtail the spread of the COVID-19.

Saudi Arabia confirmed 3,460 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 578,753.

On December 29, Saudi Arabia intensified efforts to protect citizens and residents from COVID-19 by making face masks mandatory in all public places. On January 6, Ministry of Interior also issued a warning that said those who violate -19 safety measures and preventive protocols will face hefty fines.

Anyone who fails to wear a face mask will be fined 1,000 Saudi riyals. The fines will be doubled if the violation is repeated, reaching a maximum amount of 100,000 riyals.

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