Sharjah school students, teachers and staff must undergo COVID-19 tests before reopening - GulfToday

Sharjah school students, teachers and staff must undergo COVID-19 tests before reopening

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The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has issued a comprehensive guideline for reopening private schools in the emirate for the academic year 2020-2021, including the policies, protocols and precautionary measures that private schools must follow in order to provide a safe and healthy educational environment.

The procedures and guidelines contained in the guide cover all aspects that guarantee the health and safety of students, including: procedures for reopening schools, dealing with risks associated with the Coronavirus, entry procedures, receiving and delivering books, school uniforms, hygiene, sterilisation, periodic disinfection, physical distancing, and the mechanism for dealing with suspected cases.

The guidelines identified the main general risks that must be taken into account and dealt with when reopening schools, which is the transmission of infection through large gatherings in areas such as entry and exit points and the canteen or during evaluation sessions and parents receiving their children.

According to the guidelines, a COVID-19 test in cooperation with the health authorities in Sharjah — will be conducted for all students, teachers and staff in all private schools before actually joining the school.


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The authority allowed the educational institutionals to return to school hours according to three teaching models: The first is a full day with all students.

The second is a two-shift model, which enables schools to approve the mechanism for distributing students to periods according to what it deems appropriate, and the third model, which is the hybrid education model in which students alternate between distance learning and attendance.

In actual classrooms, how to implement safety measures and physical distancing will determine the teaching model that schools will follow.

The guidelines focus on describing the health and safety measures recommended by the concerned authorities in the country.

The authority confirmed that it will carry out inspection campaigns in cooperation with other concerned authorities in the emirate to measure and follow up the extent of schools' compliance with the guidelines and hold non-compliant schools accountable, and this may include a fine for the school or mandating the school to switch to distance learning until further notice.

The authority stated that the school teams authorised to deal with COVID-19 inside the schools — which will be formed — will monitor the implementation of the instructions and know the extent of the commitment of the members of the school community.

Ali Al Hosani, Director of the Sharjah Private Education Authority, said: “The issuance of the guidelines coincides with the approaching new academic year. Where students return to school after applying the distance learning system during the third semester of the 2019-2020 academic year and after a break of more than five months.

He added that the guidelines issued by the authority and a copy of it received by private schools had been drawn up in coordination with several bodies to secure prevention and safety benefits for the school community.

The authority was keen to inform schools about the content of the guide, which aims to ensure the safety and security of students and workers in educational institutions.

The guidelines include school hygiene and safety procedures, setting clear guidelines for physical spacing procedures in classrooms and physical distancing in the pre-primary stage / first year foundation, kindergarten first / foundation year two and kindergarten second / first year by placing them in "fixed" groups that include ten children.

The guidelines obliged the school staff members to refrain from leaving the school during school hours, and if they left the school for emergency reasons, they would not be allowed to enter again unless they underwent complete sterilisation and replaced their clothes.

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