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AMMAN: Hundreds of thousands of students in Jordan went back to classrooms on Sunday after almost a year of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am very happy to see my friends and teacher again,” said seven-year-old Mecca at a girls’ school in Jabal Amman, in the centre of the Jordanian capital.

“I was bored at home. Being at school is better,” the smiling girl said.

Schools and universities in the country have been shut since mid-March due to the pandemic.

Kindergarten and early elementary school levels, as well as students in their final year of high school, went back to classrooms on Sunday, the first day of the school week in Jordan, while Christian schools will reopen for those students on Monday.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees also reopened its schools on Sunday for 28,000 students.

An education ministry spokesman said more than 773,000 students were going back to the classroom this week.

The government decided to reopen schools after a drop in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past four weeks.

Another 1.4 million students across the country will return gradually until March 7, according to the education and health ministries.

Jordan has officially registered a total of 335,154 coronavirus infections and 4,379 deaths.

Vaccinations began in January and so far more than 40,000 people have received a first injection.

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