Dr Abdullah Al Karam responds to questions as part of #AskDXBOfficial initiative on Thursday.
Gulf Today Report
A senior official of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said on Thursday that all school staff, including teachers, will have to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 prior to the reopening of the educational institutions in Dubai.
“It makes it comfortable for everyone around them,” Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KDHA said.
The testing facilities will be based in seven schools in Dubai.
Dr Abdullah Al Karam responds to questions as part of #AskDXBOfficial initiative.
The KHDA Director General further said keeping students safe is a shared responsibility between parents and schools. “It will take all of us to come together to make sure that we are adhering to those standards because our safety is important, and the safety of others is important. I hope they will all enjoy the experience of going back to school,” he said.
Dr Al Karam was responding to questions as part of #AskDXBOfficial, an initiative of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) that gives the public a chance to ask questions to Dubai’s senior government officials. The #AskDXBOfficial initiative is aligned with GDMO’s objective of creating platforms that allow the community to clarify issues and concerns with government officials. The second #AskDXBOfficial interaction featured a series of questions on procedures and protocols being followed by schools following the reopening and addressed concerns parents have regarding safety.
The KHDA encouraged parents and students to focus on the positives of the school reopening while ensuring preventive measures are strictly followed.
Emphasising the importance of celebrating the human side of the reopening he said: “While we have the precautions in place and adhere to it, we have to understand it’s going to be an exciting time. We’re going to see people we haven’t seen in six months. We’re going to hear stories. We’re going to talk about it. Let’s focus on the positive side of going back and meeting friends and sharing a laugh.”
“Let us not forget the joy and the fun and the good feeling we get from seeing our friends. We look forward to the stories. It is such an important day for all of us. When you’re back to school, you’re back to life.”
Schools will be following specific health and safety guidelines to protect students and staff, Dr Al Karam said. All schools have submitted detailed re-opening readiness plans that outline safety measures, including social distancing, temperature checks, PE lessons, break times, and school start times.
“More than a month ago, the Dubai Government created a very clear protocol for schools and education. It is a very thorough protocol designed by specialists and it’s always been on the conservative side because we have over 300,000 kids going to school,” he said. KHDA will be monitoring all schools in Dubai in collaboration with key authorities to ensure they are continuing to follow precautionary measures to protect students and staff.
GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICES
KHDA urges parents to teach their children to follow good hygiene practices, behave responsibly and respectfully and work with teachers to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
Dr Al Karam confirmed that higher education institutions will also reopen depending on the schedules followed by them or their mother campuses. All universities will be required to follow the Protocols for Reopening of Higher Education Institutions. The KHDA team is currently evaluating the individual reopening plans of the institutions.
Addressing a question on school fees, he said: “The choice of distance learning does not impact the fees. But we understand that many schools are putting together different packages to support parents who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage parents to have confidential discussions with the schools. Most of the schools that we talked to are very keen to help out as much as possible. These are the kind of conversations we would like to see between the schools and the parents themselves,” he said.
On the blended learning model to be followed by schools, Dr. Al Karam said: “Some parents and students want to continue distance learning. Distance learning as an option will stay with us, especially at the beginning, until things get better for everyone.”
REOPENING OF NURSERIESOn the reopening of nurseries, he said: “We are working with federal authorities to decide protocol requirements and the timing of the announcement. People want to go back to work and they want their kids to be in their nurseries. We have teachers who want to be in the nurseries and teach in the school. As we go back to work, school and universities, the reopening of nurseries is very important to us.”
Government and private schools following the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, kindergartens and adult education likely received more than 1,119,000 students on Sunday.
While schools and classrooms might not look and operate quite the same as earlier in the year, given the numerous health and safety measures in place, students and teachers were still visibly pleased to be reunited and learning together once more.
The Emirates Foundation for School Education (Taaleem) recently announced that the end of year exams for the 2020-2021 academic year will take place from June 8 to June 17, 2021 for 4th to 12th grade students...
Nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures as countries locked down to prevent the disease from spreading, UNICEF said in a report. Yet at least one in three students have had no way of continuing their education at home.
An Indian expat with the ticket number 206975 has won Dhs30 million in Abu Dhabi Big Ticket’s one of the biggest ever raffle draw on Saturday.
"I commend the United Arab Emirates for the historic cooperation with Israel forged over the past two years through the Abraham Accords," said Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, in a press statement on Friday.
The celebrations were attended by the Centre's staff and a broad multicultural segment of the mosque's worshippers and visitors, which reflected the rich Emirati heritage and noble values, and highlighted the mosque's message that calls for cross-cultural dialogue worldwide.
The Abu Dhabi Court for Family and Civil and Administrative Cases rejected a lawsuit filed by an ex-husband who demanded to obligate his divorcee to pay him Dhs28,000, claiming that he had transferred the agreed alimony to her bank account.