Schools in Abkhazia are closed again due to the pandemic, but there is still no online education
In Abkhazia, quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have been extended again, this time until January 12, 2021, which means schools will close just one month following their reopening in the current academic year.
For many children, this will mean no studies whatsoever: the Abkhaz Ministry of Education is still unable to offer children distance learning.
On November 26, an additional 265 more cases of coronavirus were registered in Abkhazia; three people died in the last day. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5,732 people have been infected, 77 have died and 3,661 have recovered.
All educational institutions, theaters and sports facilities have been quarantined. All shops continue to operate, as does public transport and it is mandatory for the population to wear masks everywhere outside the home.
The last three months of the previous academic year in Abkhazia were also cancelled due to quarantine regulations, and lessons were not conducted online.
Many in Abkhazia say that the situation with school education has become critical.
In the summer of 2020, Education Minister Inal Gablia appealed to the Abkhaz diaspora and local business with a request to help them purchase the necessary number of tablets for schoolchildren so that the embassy could organize distance education.
However, this initiative did not receive much response.
Only in a few schools, and even then not completely, by the efforts of the teachers themselves, was distance education organized.
Some parents try to fill the resulting vacuum with private lessons with tutors. But this is only available to a small portion of the population.
On social media, parents complain that the sphere of education has been left to fend for itself. Education Minister Inal Gablia has been called the government’s ‘most unfortunate personnel decision.’
Some experts suggest simply canceling the academic year and starting studies only when it will be possible to resume the normal educational process.
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