A student wearing coronavirus mask sanitizes her hand at a school in Abu Dhabi. All private schools in the Emirate have reopened under Adek’s Covid-19 precautionary guidelines.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Thousands of students have begun returning to school across Abu Dhabi for the start of the new academic year 2020-2021.
All private schools in the Emirate have reopened with one of the five models outlined in the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) Schools Reopening Policies and have implemented precautionary measures detailed in guidelines to ensure a safe return to class.
Safety measures include - no more than 15 students in the same cluster, maintaining 1.5 metre social distancing between students throughout the day, all teachers and school staff undergoing COVID-19 testing prior to schools opening.
ADEK inspectors visited all schools to ensure their adherence to the guidelines and will continue regular visits to review individual school commitment throughout the academic year
“We wish all of our students who are returning both to the classroom, and those opting to continue with distance learning for term one a successful start to the academic year,” said ADEK’s Undersecretary Amer Al Hammadi.
“Private schools throughout the Emirate have shown great dedication to welcome students back and have implemented robust back-to-school health and safety guidelines issued by ADEK. The guidelines were refined in collaboration with the health authorities and followed comprehensive studies of global best practice for a safe return to physical schooling.”
As most children head back to school, there are thousands of children in the UAE who won’t be able to attend this year due to the impact the recent pandemic has had on their family’s economic situation.
Families can opt for online e-learning as a more affordable option, but even this is not possible for those who are out of work, unable to cover the cost of the necessary IT equipment, laptops, smart phones and tablets. Even stationery and textbooks are simply unaffordable to some.
Stop & Help has appealed families in the UAE to give away their functioning secondhand laptops, smart phones and tablets to help the needy. One can register at https:// stopandhelp.ae /preloved-items where the items will be matched with children in need.
Items can be personally dropped off or couriered to a designated family from as little as Dhs30, allowing kindness givers to play a significant role in enriching a child’s life by supporting their access to education.
While many countries are still struggling to take decisions on reopening of schools at the time of pandemic, it is heartening that the UAE has put all safety measures in place and embraced a hybrid model of teaching, with many students also opting for e-learning.
the decision stems from the UAE's keenness to enable those holding valid residence visas to get reunited with their families after having been affected by the precautionary measures taken under the current exceptional circumstances to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision came following consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, principals and school operators across Abu Dhabi, conducted in May and June this year. It also follows the vaccination of more than 80 per cent of teachers and school staff, including all maintenance and security teams.
Vaccine nationalism is a new concept in the current COVID-19 era, which is likely to hinder the global health and economic recovery causing more harm than the pandemic itself. Governments are scrambling to acquire vaccines for their populations
The Ministry stressed In a statement on Monday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
EWINGS, managing operator of Mahzooz, saw one exceptionally fortunate participant land the grand prize of Dhs50,000,000.
The world's oldest and longest-reigning monarch, 95, stayed in hospital overnight on Wednesday but returned to Windsor Castle, to the west of London, the following day. Officials said she was in good spirits and back at work.