October 11, 2020 | healthcare

Masked first, second grade students go back to school in Kurdistan Region


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – First and second grade students began the 2020-2021 academic year in classrooms across the Kurdistan Region on Saturday, in masks and with social distancing measures in place to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

The return to classrooms for all first and second grade pupils with protective measures in place was ordered by the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Education in a statement published on Friday.

But in remote areas of the Kurdistan Region, where there is no internet access and class sizes are small, all pupils will have to attend classes in person, according to the ministry statement.

'Where there is no internet access and the number of students are low...students of all grades will study in class with measures like wearing masks and keeping social distance implemented,” the statement read.

Grade 12 students returned to school on September 27. Universities have also begun their new academic year, both in classrooms and online.

The KRG allocated 540,000,000 dinars (roughly $450,000) to the education ministry to buy protective and medical equipment 'across all the study centers in the Kurdistan Region, Kirkuk, Khanaqin and other Kurdistani areas outside of the Kurdistan Region administration,' education minister Alan Hama Saeed said late last month.

The Kurdistan Region currently has more than 1.7 million students and 6,429 schools, according to education ministry data.

Schools and universities were closed on February 26, as part of KRG measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Kurdistan Region has recorded 54,387 cases of the virus so far, including 34,128 recoveries and 1,949 deaths, according to the latest data from the KRG health ministry.

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