By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Schools for children with special abilities resumed in-person classes on campus this week. To respect health precautions, students were separated in two groups at the Hope School for Special Needs. According to the admission staff at the school, a first group of students attends classes from 8:00 am till 11:00 am, while the second group attends from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Khalifa School also resumed in-person classes for students from Sunday, Dec 20, 2020. An official from the admission department said they are glad to welcome students again at the school premises. “Not all students are attending. Some students preferred to continue studying through online classes, and we respect their choice. For in-class students, we have taken all health and safety precautions to keep them safe,” she told Kuwait Times.

All schools in Kuwait were closed for the National Day holidays in February when the global coronavirus pandemic outbreak reached the country. The education ministry announced closures initially for two weeks, then an additional two weeks, and finally for the rest of the school year for in-person learning.

Over the summer, parents learned that there would be no in-person learning at all for any schools – public, private or special needs – for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. It is unclear if students will be allowed to return to campus for the second semester of the current school year. Kuwait is scheduled to begin vaccinating people today, starting with frontliners and those at high risk, before moving on to the general population.

Schools are not expected to resume on-campus learning for all students until the vaccine is more widely administered. There are an estimated half a million school-age students in Kuwait, all of them have been learning through virtual classes since the start of the current school year.