KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education hopes to launch a comprehensive vaccination campaign as it remains optimistic of chances to return students back to school by the beginning of the second semester in March. The ministry is coordinating in this regard with the health ministry, who ultimately has the final say on when students can go back to school, and ending the online teaching experience one year after its implementation following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In this regard, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Ali Al-Mudhaf yesterday chaired a meeting of the joint committee between the education and health ministries to discuss a proposal for a gradual return plan to schools for the second semester of the 2020-21 academic year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, Mudhaf stressed that should in-class teaching return, the education ministry will cooperate with the health ministry and observe all health standards and requirements at schools in a way that guarantees the safety of students, the educational and administrative staff, the Ministry of Education said in a press statement.

He explained that the meeting discussed a proposal for a gradual return to schools and the process of taking appropriate measures in this regard, including seeking to launch a comprehensive vaccination campaign at the beginning of the second semester. Decisions to regulate and lunch this campaign will be discussed and agreed upon during a Cabinet meeting, the minister explained.

Meanwhile, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Development and Activities Faisal Al-Maqseed said that yesterday’s meeting is “the first of its kind between the education and health ministries to coordinate on the topic of a gradual return to schools for the second semester.”

Maqseed added that during the meeting, the education ministry’s plan for returning to schools was reviewed and many health requirements were set in the event of a return to in-class teaching, or even in case the online education process continues until the end of the academic year.

“A recommendation was made to form teams at educational zones to coordinate with health officials and carry out field studies to come up with the best environment to allow for students’ return to classes,” he said, adding that this topic will be discussed in more detail during a meeting next week.