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DJEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is preparing to restart face-to-face learning in schools for children under 12 after postponing it from October of last year.

At a press conference on Sunday, the Saudi education ministry announced the reopening of primary and kindergartens from January 23, after more than 18 months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministry spokeswoman Ibtisam Al-Shehri said it was important for parents to prepare their children for returning from face-to-face classes.

Saudi Arabia launched a Madrasati (My School) educational platform at the start of the pandemic in 2020, which has been used by more than five million students across the Kingdom.

Madrasati, which was hailed by the UN in a report highlighting the success of innovative educational models during the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitated distance education that allowed teachers to run virtual lessons. The platform offers students a variety of content, including presentations, educational videos, and textbooks.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told the press conference that although Saudi Arabia is witnessing an increase in COVID-19 cases, the number of cases reviews is lower than in previous years. This is the result of the vaccine’s effectiveness and national efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia are increasing rapidly due to the omicron variant, with infections more than doubling in a week.

Online education platforms will continue for people with critical health conditions that prevent them from attending face-to-face classes.

The education ministry is implementing precautionary measures in schools, such as masks, disinfectants and social distancing as part of its preparation to welcome students again.

Saudi health officials began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 late last year after the Saudi Food and Drug Authority approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for this group. of age.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday confirmed 3,460 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 578,753. A new death linked to COVID-19 brought the total death toll to 8,893.

141 patients are still in critical condition. The Department of Health announced that an additional 843 patients had recovered, bringing the number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 546,614.

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