Preparations in full swing in Bahrain for the new academic year, says Minister
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The education ministry is updating and developing its eServices ahead of the academic year 2021 -”22 to ensure the sustainability of eLearning amid the exceptional circumstances brought forth by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, said Education Minister.
Majid Al-Nuami said the ministry is striving hard to keep up the quality of its services to cope with the sudden shift from in-person to the virtual learning process. “Now, the shift to digital learning is so widespread that it has catered to all educational levels and has become indispensable.”
“Our experience tells that digital learning is essential to ensure the sustainability of learning and enhance its quality by adopting new approaches.” “We are constantly developing the portal to help the students, teachers, parents, and staff concerned.”
“The latest update was during the second semester of the academic year 2020-2021, during which we developed a unified template for lessons based mainly on study plans.” The portal now allows students to find their academic schedules, examination schedules, grades, daily attendance, lessons, enrichment, digital educational contents, activities and applications.
“It also offers administrative services, such as school announcements, school events, reports and administrative files.” The minister said the authorities are working to develop and enhance these services to make them “more efficient and quicker in their responses.” Bahrain model, the minister said, had also received the appreciation of many regional and international organisations.
The ministry has taken many steps to ensure the continuous evaluation of students’ skill and school work amid the circumstances. “Digital lessons are uploaded daily while taking care to evaluate students’ performance through standardised tests.” “Students are also taking part in international competitions adhering strictly to precautionary controls.”
When asked about training programmes, the minister said the ministry had implemented many remote programmes for teachers and other employees to cope with the sudden shift from physical to virtual learning.
Tribune earlier reported the experience of Bahrain Middle High School in activating distance learning in a relatively short time. Principal Shana Seawright had said: “We needed just three days to have our digital platforms ready, and we went ahead with online courses.”
“The teachers boosted their confidence around technology and digital platforms through workshops and fine-tuned their skills at providing lessons online. Several expert teachers shared their expertise with their colleagues.” “Of course, it took everyone some time to adjust, but there has been since the beginning massive energy about how to deal with the challenges, and the whole experience moved on smoothly,” she said.
“We are delighted with the results as our students continue to receive their education according to the school’s high standards. There is a great sense of responsibility and commitment among the teachers and the students,” the principal added.
US Navy’s Bahrain school shifts to remote learning
Students of the US Navy’s Bahrain school will shift to remote learning this Monday as the base goes into health protection level Charlie, the second-highest risk level of health protection condition. HPCON Levels indicates “sustained community transmission,” Stars and Stripes, the US military’s independent news source reports quoting the Pentagon.
The report says that the school officials had reported the shift in a letter to parents and staff members on Thursday. “No decision has been made on how long Defense Department classes in Bahrain will remain in remote learning,” the report quotes Stephen Smith, a Department of Defense Education Activity-Europe spokesman, as saying.
“We will continue to work with military and public health officials to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary,” the letter adds. The last day of school for DODEA students in Bahrain is June 10.