- Title: Saudi Arabian students return to school as COVID-19 fears ease
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (AUGUST 30, 2021) (REUTERS) DRONE SHOT OF SCHOOL IN RIYADH WITH STUDENTS IN COURTYARD (MUTE) BOY GETTING OUT OF CAR VARIOUS OF STUDENTS SANITIZING THEIR HANDS BEFORE ENTERING SCHOOL SCHOOL SECURITY CHECKING A STUDENT'S TEMPERATURE STUDENT ENTERING THE SCHOOL TOP SHOT OF STUDENTS IN LINE SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS ON THE GROUND STUDENTS ENTERING SCHOOL BUILDING STUDENTS WALKING INSIDE SCHOOL SIGN READING (Arabic): "WELCOME BACK. WE WISH YOU A NEW SUCCESSFUL ACADEMIC YEAR" TEACHER WEARING MASK AND TALKING TO STUDENTS IN CLASSROOM STUDENTS WEARING MASKS IN CLASSROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SCHOOL PRINCIPLE, HUSSAIN AL-FAIFY, SAYING: "We are so happy to meet our children the students after two years of interruption from schools and from our students. We provided many precautionary procedures like face masks, social distancing, distancing the tables in the classrooms, and many protocols that were set by the ministry of education to ensure the safety of our students like canceling break times, providing healthy food inside the classroom, as well as canceling any activities that contain physical proximity while keeping activities that provide distancing. In addition to many other precautionary procedures like taking the temperature of students, visitors, and teachers before entering the school." STUDENTS WALKING INSIDE HALL STUDENTS STANDING BY LOCKERS STUDENT ENTERING LIBRARY STUDENT SIGNING TO TAKE BOOKS OUT OF THE LIBRARY STUDENT RECEIVING BOOKS FROM A TEACHER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI STUDENT, MOHAMMED ALMOHANA, SAYING: "My name is Mohammed AlMohana, today I'm happy to be in school again, it's better than virtual learning. Thank God everyone is vaccinated and wearing their masks, also the teachers have taken their precautionary measures and everything is good." STUDENTS IN A CLASSROOM STUDENT RAISING HIS HAND STUDENT IN A CLASSROOM STUDENTS IN A CLASSROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI STUDENT, WALEED AL-SALIH, SAYING: "Thank God that school has returned after two years and I get to see my friends. It's easier when school is physically open because before we faced problems with the internet, the student platform, or problems with communication with the teacher. But now by returning here everything is easier, we get to deal with teachers in an easy way." VARIOUS OF STUDENTS IN CLASSROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI STUDENT, FAHAD AL-FARIS, SAYING: "We are back to school with good precautionary procedures and we hope we understand the lessons from the teacher because we used to face problems while studying virtually. We did not understand, the internet used to cut off and all the battery drains. But today after we've returned it will be good and the ministry would not have allowed us to come back if they thought that someone will get affected." STUDENTS IN A CLASSROOM CLASS SCHEDULE ON A BOOK SIGN READING (Arabic): "WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOU GET BACK TO SCHOOL" SIGN READING (Arabic): "IBN AL-HAJEB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR BOYS"
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 13:23
- Keywords: Back to School Coronavirus Pandemic Riyadh Saudi Arabia Schools Students
- Location: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- City: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001ESH2639
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Dozens of children with white traditional Arabian robes, leather sandals, and black backpacks lined up in the courtyard of Ibn al-Hajeb elementary school in the Saudi capital Riyadh as a sign wished them a "warm welcome back".
Around 6 million pupils and students in Saudi Arabia are back to schools this week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started, but a COVID-19 vaccine is a pre-condition to attend classes for those above 12.
All children, teachers, and other staff must wear face masks, respect social distancing and check their temperature on a daily basis before entering the buildings.
"After two years, I had the chance to see my friends," said 13-year-old Waleed al-Salih.
In March 2020, The kingdom suspended schools, universities, and educational institutions over coronavirus fears and ordered that virtual schools be set up offering distance learning during the suspension.
New coronavirus infections in Saudi Arabia have stabilized at a few hundreds daily over the last months from a peak of more than 4,000 new cases in June 2020. The number of deaths has fallen below 10 during August.
On Sunday (August 29), the Saudi health ministry reported 208 new infections with six deaths.
More than 36 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 78% of the kingdom's 35 million people have been vaccinated, the ministry said.
The education ministry has ordered additional measures to protect schools and children from the spread of the virus, said Hussain al-Faify, the principle of Ibn al-Hajeb school.
A security guard checks children's temperature after their parents drop them off at the school gate where alcohol-based hand sanitizers await.
(Production: Mohammed Benmansour)
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