Ref: Masjid online classes provision and Covid surge

Assalamu Alaykum dear parents,

Pray you are all well.

Thank you for reading this message as there is very limited information we can send by text message. This is to explain arrangements we are putting in place for the next few weeks if your child is unable to attend the masjid physically due to Covid.  I have put this in a Q/A format to make it easier to understand.  If you still have queries, please do not hesitate to send us a message via the sms text service (07943104779).

Are ALL classes now going back online?

No. We are still running physical classes as normal so if you prefer your child to  continue to attend physically (if that is how they are currently attending), that is fine.  Our local teachers are all attending physically.  We have no plans to stop physical classes.  However, we are offering parents the option to allow their children to attend online if that is what they prefer for the next few weeks due to the high rates of Covid infections across the country.  If your child is already online or attending physically then this can continue as normal.  

   

What should I do if my child currently attends physically but I want them to attend online for the next few weeks?

Simply reply to the text message and we will contact you.  Preferably, send us the name, age and class timings of your child and a message stating you would like your child to attend online for the next few weeks.  We will then contact you with further details.

     

Will you allow all children to attend online or are there any exceptions?

Children aged 5-9 should continue to attend physically (if able to) and those senior hifz students mentioned below must also attend physically unless permission is granted by us:

From experience, we have found that younger children aged 5-9 years of age struggle with online classes so we would encourage you to continue sending in your child if they are of this age group.  Only if your child (of this age group) has tested positive or showing symptoms should they isolate at home, otherwise this age group is not at a high risk of Covid.  We would encourage that you continue to send this age group of children to attend physically please. During the lockdown this age group struggled online so please request online classes for them if there is an exceptional reason and we will consider your request InshaAllah.  If you want this age group child to attend online send us a message as to why they can’t attend physically please.

Hifz students:  Those students that attend the physical classes of Shaikh Sajid, Sh. Abid, Hafiz Ameen should continue to attend physically.  These students should continue with  their physical teachers / classes as they are on substantial hifz targets and we do not want their hifz targets and progress to be affected in any way.  Should these students contract Covid or show symptoms then please let us know and we will arrange online cover for a temporary period.

 

What are the timings / schedule of online classes?

Online classes and physical classes take place at the same time.  There is no planned change of timings however we may offer extra online classes during the day time during the christmas holidays and during the day time during school term if school openings are delayed, for extra support.

 

How many online teachers are available?

We have a strong online set up consisting mainly of Egyptian teachers based in Egypt.  In total we have approximately 25 online teachers and 30 physical class teachers.  However, we can increase the scope and number of online teachers fairly quickly by recruiting and training more if and when required.  Alhamdulillah the BQA/Bahu Trust madrassa set up is one of the strongest that has both a physical and online presence supervised and monitored centrally by the BQA.  We ask parents to continue to support us so we can continue to serve your children through timely payment of fees, your co-operation at all times and of course your kind duas InshaAllah.

 

What do I do if my child has symptoms or someone in my household has tested positive for Covid?  Do we all have to isolate?

The current guidance is that children under 18 years of age and those that have received 2 jabs do not have to isolate if a family member or contact has tested positive.  Such groups are at low risk but they should be taking lateral flow tests every day to check they are in the clear (if a household member has tested positive). Of course, anyone testing positive must isolate for at least 7 days. We request that your child takes daily lateral flow tests before you send them to the masjid especially if someone in your household has tested positive.  Please make sure that as a family, you are taking these tests which take a few minutes to complete.  You should have a supply of test kits at home, they are very easy to use.  The latest official guidelines on isolation are in this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

By doing the above you will help keep everyone safe including our staff and anyone else your child comes into contact with.

 

Where can I get these lateral flow tests from?

These can be ordered online from the following link.  These are free test kits:

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50231/coronavirus_covid-19/2308/covid-19_lateral_flow_device_lfd_testing_information/2

However, we have some stock at the masjid and if you would like to collect these from the masjid (reception office) please call the reception on 0121-440-4096 to ask if they have any available and if so, please feel free to take what you need.  Stocks are limited but we have around 60 kits at the time of writing.  We have ordered more.  If we are out of stock, please use the official link above to order. As mentioned these are free testing kits.

   

Why is the masjid/BQA taking more precautions now and encouraging online teaching now?

We are following government advice and sensible precautions to keep as many people safe as possible whilst balancing your child’s educational needs.  With this new Covid variant it is generally understood that there will be a surge in infections across the country after Christmas, with the number of people having to isolate projected to hit peak levels.  InshaAllah after 2-3 weeks we hope that those children who have chosen to go online for precautionary reasons will return to physical classes as normal InshaAllah.

 

I have requested that my child attends online classes, what do I do now?

If you have replied via sms text message (or email) requesting online classes, we will get back to you by the end of day tomorrow (Tuesday 28th Dec) with a response InshaAllah.  We are in the process of allocating children to classes so need a day or two to finalise and respond to all requests InshaAllah.

If you have any other queries, please feel free to send us a message.  Also, tomorrow I will be contacting all parents who have asked for a call back / appointment, InshaAllah.

JazakAllah

Ustadh Shauket

Bahu Trust / BQA