Schools told to ensure attendance in online and in-person classes
18 Jan 2021 – 9:50
Nargis Raza Otho, Principal, PISQ
Doha: The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) has asked schools to ensure students’ attendance in in-person and online classes.
During a meeting with schools’ representatives, the Ministry said schools should collaborate with parents for a seamless transition between in-person and online classes.
“During the meeting, the Ministry urged schools to encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children go to schools or take online lessons following their attendance schedule,” Principal of Pakistan International School Qatar (PISQ), Nargis Raza Otho, told The Peninsula.
Otho said schools were also asked to call parents and convince them about the importance of attendance for the quality education of their children.
“The Ministry asked schools to take disciplinary action against students who are repeatedly absent after warnings, following the attendance policies of the MoEHE,” said Otho.
Responding to a question about student attendance at PISQ, she said the school recorded an average of 85 percent attendance. However, she noted, students’ attendance for in-person classroom activities is higher, reaching 95 percent compared to the online learning system, where it has recorded about 60 percent.
She said the attendance of pupils attending virtually through Microsoft-Teams was auto-generated.
Speaking about the reason for the low turnout of students in the online learning system, Otho said: “The main reason behind skipping online classes is the laziness of students, especially when parents are not at home, as it happens in cases of working parents.”
She also asserted that another reason is the lack of resources for some students. However, she hoped such problems will soon be resolved and online learning will go smoothly without any obstacle in the future. “We are committed to providing quality education to our students under any circumstances and are hopeful that parents will fully cooperate with us in this regard so that we can ensure a smooth functioning of the school and come out of these trying times together, stronger than ever.”
Meanwhile, a government school yesterday sent text messages to parents informing them about the Ministry’s attendance policies and the disciplinary actions to be taken against absentees. “We inform you that based on the instructions of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, a student who is sick with a chronic disease and has a medical certificate … will take online lessons, provided that he/she will take the examination in-person at the school,” the message read.
The school said that the exemption is for the sick students only and not a family member. Accordingly, students who were exempted from school hours during the first semester due to the illness of one of their family members should attend the schools because now their absence will be calculated as absence without an excuse following the provisions of the behavioural assessment policy, the message added.
According to the Ministry’s attendance policy, a student will be marked absent when he/she does not attend school without any valid reason during the working days of the school.
On their part, schools should also follow up on the absence of all students accurately and create an attractive environment for students. The schools should educate students about the importance of attendance and disciplinary actions against absentees.