Back to school ( on campus) IKNS

    Honorable Members of the Ibn Khuldoun National School Administration,

    We the undersigned, parents of the children at Ibn Khuldoun National School are deeply concerned as a result of the recent extension of online/ distance learning that was announced by the school today, the 13th of September 2020. We believe the decision has been taken lightly, without consideration and does not work in favour of many of the parents.

    Firstly, we would like to extend our appreciation for your continuous effort in providing all tools that support us parents with the distance learning. While we realise that distance learning has been implemented is for the sake of everyone’s health and safety, we would also like to bring to your attention the challenges it has faced us with. As parents, we have been highly appreciative toward the shift to online of all schools as a result of the pandemic. But today, a great number of us feel extremely disappointed at the decision the school has taken to furthermore extend this state of academic learning when the majority of the country is moving in an opposite direction.

    The school’s concern for health and safety is highly appreciated. However, it must also be noted that health reveals itself in many forms and our children’s mental health is not where it should be. From our own personal experience, we have noticed that through distance learning there has been a noticeable decline in their level of education and concentration.

    As per the announcement issued by HH The Crowne Prince of Bahrain Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa last month, parents were given the option to choose between school attendance or online learning. It was made very clear by the Ministry of Education that parents of private schools would be able to choose what is best for their children. But in an unanticipated turn of events and after announcing return to school for our children by the 18th of September, IKNS has now completely taken away this option from us.

    It came as a surprise that the school to expect many of us parents to be able to lead our children’s education from home after having offered the expectation of return to school for both the parents and children. Being a new academic year where curriculums are brand new and learning poses even more of a challenge when specific milestones are expected to be met and working through screens is not making ends meet. This mostly impacts the younger children who find it extremely challenging to benefit from endless online meetings.

    It is understandable that there is a concern from some of the parents about the recent spike in case counts around Bahrain. Nevertheless, life for our children has to move forward along with the rest of the country and the world. We the parents rest assured that the precautionary measures taken by you will ensure a safe learning environment for the children at school. We do realise that there is a large portion of parents that may approve of the school’s decision to continue online learning and for those parents we believe the school should continue to give them the option to stay home if they do not yet feel comfortable to attend in person yet.

    Please note that the virus is most likely going to remain with us for a long time to come and we must be able to coexist with it without compromising the future of our children. Many other private schools have opened their doors and continue to receive students on a daily basis, despite the presence of cases of Coronavirus. Schools have dealt with the situation successfully as long as all Ministry requirements are being adhered to. While the country is opening back up, people are going back to life and many of us parents work full-time jobs to be able to support our children in school. It is unfair of the school to assume that we are able to commit to supporting our children online when it is proving impossible for many of us. We the parents of are committed to paying school fees and cannot justify any of it if our children have to continue to isolate and learn from home.

    In conclusion, we would like to suggest that rather than push the online learning on us, the school considers postponing studying as a whole until the school is fully prepared to welcome the students on campus. On the whole, we would like to urge you to reconsider the decision taken today and give the parents the right to choose the best option for our children, whether remotely or physically back in school.

    We hope you can accept our sincere appreciation and gratitude for all your kind efforts, as well as take on board all the concerns outlined in this letter and we hope to hear from the school with a positive reply.

    With Regards,
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