The students’ parents confirmed their desire to transfer the study on Friday to the (virtual) distance education system, because the number of study hours does not exceed four hours.
They said that the school bus trip takes more than half of the study period (about 120 minutes), which makes the school day stressful for students.
For its part, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai stated that converting the study to “remotely” is in only three cases, related to the presence of a confirmed infection with the “Covid-19” virus, contact with an infected person, or residence with a person with chronic diseases.
An opinion poll conducted by “Emirates Today”, in which about 3,000 people participated on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, showed a strong desire among students’ families to transfer the study to the distance education system on Friday, as 68% supported this trend. Of the respondents, compared to 17% who supported in-person education.
And 15% said that they tend to make it “optional”, that is, according to the desire of the student and his parents.
Imad Tharwat (Taleb’s father) explained that he supports that the study day be on Friday remotely, “because the study period is short, as it does not exceed four hours, and therefore there is no need to go to school, and return from it, in a period that may exceed the study period.”
He added, “I think that the application of (virtual) distance education on Friday is important for students, because it trains them in this type of education, in preparation for the future, whether educational authorities are forced to convert the study to virtual or the student wants to study at university with this system.”
Laila Sheta (Taleb’s mother) said, “Studying on Friday is not productive enough, so I hope that Friday will be considered a holiday for all family members.”
She added, “I would like to allocate the four hours of study on Friday to the other school days, from Monday to Thursday, and count it as vacation.”
And Doha Hamida supported converting the study to a virtual one on Friday, if they keep the current school hours as they are without an increase.
And she considered that “students spend more time on Friday than the study time they benefit from, so virtual education is more beneficial, especially for twelfth grade students, as they need every hour of the day to obtain the grades that determine their university future.”
Other students’ parents supported the option of face-to-face education on Fridays, as is currently the case, considering that “distance education”, even for half a day, is not a viable option.
They stressed that “students’ stay in their homes for three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), is considered a long period, which exposes them to forgetfulness, neglect and inaction in studying, and therefore students go to school on Friday for half a day, because it makes them connected to the school environment continuously.”
Others saw the need to make remote study optional for students, because “many families may need at some time to virtual study, because their children are unable to attend school. This includes traveling to visit family in another emirate during the weekend.”
GEMS International School Principal Simon Herbert commented: “The Friday Half Day may be the best way to experiment with older students in particular, as they have the maturity and technical knowledge to make the most of online learning, as they have shown great flexibility and ability to blend their learning from through various means. They are also less dependent on their parents for guidance, are more able to function independently at home, and have less need for social interaction within school.
It makes sense to choose half a Friday as an experiment, Herbert said, and travel time can actually become work time, allowing older students to have more contact with the teacher, albeit online, and more study time, not less.
The principal of GEMS Gulf International School, Ghadeer Abu Shamat, said that “the idea of working remotely for students is useless, especially for parents who work on Fridays and cannot leave their children alone.”
She stressed the necessity of the extracurricular activities that teachers provide to their students on Friday, adding that they contribute to building the student’s personality and arming him with skills that can enhance his leadership qualities.
For its part, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai reported that converting the study from “realistic” to “hypothetical” is only in three cases, the first being that a student was infected with the “Covid-19” virus, and the second was his contact with other students, who showed symptoms and are waiting The result of the PCR test, and the student who lives with family members cannot get the vaccine due to medical reasons.
• Parents of students: “The school trip by bus takes more than half the period of study on Friday.”
• School Principal: “The idea of distance education on Fridays is not suitable for working students.”
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