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2020/2021 academic year fears grow as various scenarios loom

By Maria Weldali - Aug 13,2020 - Last updated at Aug 13,2020

AMMAN — As the 2020/2021 academic year approaches, parents and guardians find themselves at a crossroads not knowing whether to enrol their children in private schools or not, awaiting directions and decisions from the concerned authorities.

As students have not step foot inside their classrooms since mid-March, a handful of parents have called for measures to ensure the safety of their children.

Um Adam, a mother of two, said that she had a reminder of the kids’ online classes during her children’s first virtual semester, amid other chores.

“This crisis has compelled parents to wear a number of hats, including the one of an educator, so currently I am anxiously trying to weigh the benefits of in-person education amid a pandemic, even though I already paid their tuition fees because the school told us the seats are limited which forced us to pay,” Um Adam added.

Meanwhile, Nesreen K. is considering sending her three daughters back to school in September, as she neither wants her daughters to miss out on any learning opportunities, nor does she want them to have an interrupted education.

“There should be clear guidelines that would support our children once they are back to school, for it will be a whole new experience after the unexpected remote education,” she noted.

She also said that “there is nothing like a real classroom with a real teacher, but amid the pandemic, all parents are afraid that their kids, God forbid, would contract the virus”.

Um Zaid, a mother of a first grader, told The Jordan Times that she is considering home schooling, hiring a private teacher for her six-year-old boy. 

“There is some kind of mystery regarding the upcoming school year”, she added. 

“When I meet up with other mothers, the majority of our time is spent over talking about expensive school fees and where we will enrol our children, and those topics have started to get on my nerves,” Um Zaid added.

The number of new students enrolling in private schools has dropped, especially given that many of them moved to public schools, which made it difficult for private schools to survive amid the ongoing crisis, an owner of a private school in the capital’s Marj Al Hamam neighbourhood, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“Many parents who enrolled their kids in our school threatened that if education goes virtual again, they would ask for some sort of reimbursement. In such a situation there is nothing else to do, but to give in to their demands,” she said.

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