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Education City Road Closures

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Story | Education
2 June 2020

Op-ed: Why A Pandemic Cannot Lead To Education Being Suspended

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Op-ed: Why A Pandemic Cannot Lead To Education Being Suspended

Dalal Ali Ahmed, Assistant Principal of Tariq Bin Ziad School – part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education – highlights the importance of distance learning in times of crisis, to prepare a young generation to face challenges.

After the decision to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been reports around the world of ending the school year and questions about whether schools will continue to use technology in education - a challenge posed to all nations.

The pandemic has revealed some problematic issues in educational systems throughout the world, making everyone wonder how well-prepared their educational system is to face such crises.

Dalal Ali Ahmed

The pandemic has revealed some problematic issues in educational systems throughout the world, making everyone wonder how well-prepared their educational system is to face such crises. In this context, it is necessary to raise certain questions, such as: isn’t education the way to solve the world’s problems? What message would we convey to our children if we suspended the learning process because we were not ready for such challenges? Isn’t it time to review our educational systems, and think about the role of our curricula and their ability to prepare an generation capable of solving problems; a generation equipped with the tools and skills that enable them to continue the learning process despite crises and challenges?

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Dalal Ali Ahmed, Assistant Principal of Tariq Bin Ziad School.

It is from such a standpoint that Qatar Foundation, a pioneer in the field of education in, made the decision to continue learning through using the appropriate technologies at all stages - from kindergarten to university education – demonstrating its belief in the importance of continuing education even amid a crisis. This sends a clear message: learning has no boundaries.

At Tariq Bin Ziad School, we believe in equipping students with the skills of the 21st Century, and we consider technology to be an integral part of the educational process.

Dalal Ali Ahmed

At Tariq Bin Ziad School, we believe in equipping students with the skills of the 21st Century, and we consider technology to be an integral part of the educational process. Our aim is to nurture a generation of independent learners with a spirit of perseverance, creativity, and critical thinking, and who are aware of the importance of lifelong learning. This is why we did not encounter any problems in continuing at a distance.

Our school continued to use the applications and digital platforms that we had adopted from the beginning of the school year, which provide a space for interaction between teachers and students on a daily basis, and through which students receive assignments, guidance, and follow-up, all of which support the continuation of our children’s learning journey.

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Tariq Bin Ziad School, part of QF’s Pre-University Education.

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Additionally, in order to ensure that parents are engaged in the educational process and that we have the opportunity to gauge their opinions about the remote learning experience, the school administration sent a questionnaire after the first week of distance learning to measure the extent of parents’ satisfaction with our school’s plan. The results showed that 82 percent of parents were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’. We also made sure we measured the quality of the learning offered to students remotely, and the response showed that this was also seen as ‘very satisfactory”.

Against this backdrop of remote education, it’s important that we value the efforts of parents and the time they spend with their children in order to ensure they continue to learn from home.

Dalal Ali Ahmed

Against this backdrop of remote education, it’s important that we value the efforts of parents and the time they spend with their children in order to ensure they continue to learn from home. Parents of Tariq Bin Ziad School students have presented wonderful examples of engaging in the educational process with their children, and demonstrated their eagerness to continue education by pursuing homework for their children. They have also sent us photos and videos of our students learning from home, and these clearly show their excitement about it.

We have been keen to share these posts sent to us by parents, because we believe they have a psychological and emotional importance to our children during this period. As they continue their distance learning, we hope our students and their families will continue to send their posts and celebrate this model of learning without borders.

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