KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education's Private Education Department released the following circular yesterday, signed by its director Sanad Al-Mutairi, explaining the stipulations under the Cabinet's decision to suspend classes as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus spread. The following is a transcript of the circular:

In compliance with the state's plan to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and as part of the precautionary measures taken in Kuwait to limit the spread of this virus and ensure using all safety and prevention means, the Cabinet decided suspending all government and private schools and universities for two weeks in the period of March 1 to 12.

The Cabinet decision also stipulates suspending work at various private schools for all students and administrative and teaching staff. As part of the periodic revision the private education department conducts regarding various precautionary measures designed to achieve greater good and effective measures to ensure the safety of students and all staff members in private schools, we have decided the following:

1-Cancelling the previous circular issued to all foreign and bilingual schools under number 221568 dated 1/3/2020, namely not allowing teaching and administrative staff members to go to school during the suspension period decided by the Cabinet - March 1-12.

2-All private school students and staff are banned from showing up to school during the suspension period.

3-Private foreign and bilingual schools are allowed to activate their e-learning platforms in a way that ensures students contact teachers based on the following conditions:

a. The private school should already have a preset plan to activate the e-learning platform, for which all teaching staff members had been already trained.

b. Full commitment that the e-learning activation plan is administered through the school premises without the presence of any teaching staff member there.

c. Not to mandate students to use these platforms, and according to this circular, make it optional for students.

d. Activities used for e-learning platforms will be limited to developing students' skills in terms of training, thinking, research, creativity and revision related to the pre-suspension curriculum distribution plan, which will develop students' knowledge acquisition without including those parts of the curriculum that had been planned to be covered during the suspension. In case any of these parts are necessary for training and revision purposes, teachers and schools will be committed to re-explain them after the suspension.

e. Private schools and teachers to be responsible for activating the e-learning platforms will be jointly committed to observe public order and behavior and will also abide by the private education department's regulations concerning checking educational textbooks and programs.

4-Taking the suspension period into consideration, all schools included in this circular will abide by adjusting their 2019-2020 school year plans and notify the private education department with the adjustments within two weeks after resuming school.

5-This circular will be effective on issuance and will cancel contradictions in previous ones. Included schools will fully abide with its contents. Penal measures will applied against schools violating the above regulations.