Photo used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Students in Dubai and Sharjah returned to schools on Sunday after a three-week winter break, however, students in Abu Dhabi will have to wait for two weeks, before attending class in-person.
It was a welcome sign to see the school buses plying the roads once again, albeit the vehicles were half full to maintain the physical distancing measures advised by the authorities.
Signage were placed in schools reminding students to maintain social distancing, wear the mask and practice hand sanitasation in order to stay safe while attending the class in-person.
The three weeks of winter vacation was used by school management to sanitise the campus as well as buses and make other preparations to ensure safety for staff and students, who returned to on-campus schooling on Sunday.
Schools in Sharjah were also ready to welcome students for in-person classes, despite the fact that the education authorities in the emirate had allowed parents to choose the mode of education for their ward —in-person, hybrid or remote learning.
Last week, the Sharjah Private Education Authority had announced that all private schools and educational institutions were ready to receive students upon school reopening, but the authority also granted parents the option to choose the mode of education.
The authority had instructed all private schools affiliated to it to notify the parents about choosing the education system through SMS or emails.
Again on Sunday, the Authority issued a statement on its Instagram account. “As the new term begins, you can either attend school or continue with online classes. Whichever one you choose, we would like to wish you all a safe and productive year of learning and growing,” it stated.
Tenth and 12th grade students of Indian schools, preparing to appear for board exams, were excited to return to school as they wanted face-to-face interaction with teachers. India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be conducting Class 10th and 12th board exams from May 4 to June 10.
The opportunity to attend the class in-person gives students a chance to be in the school for some time before they sit for their board exams as that will help them acclimatise themselves. It was necessary for students as they have been attending online classes for an extended period of time, while the examinations will ultimately be held with pen and paper.
Students in Abu Dhabi will return to schools on Jan.17, as the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, in coordination with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, has approved remote learning for the first two weeks of the new school term.
“The decision applies to all students at both public and private schools in the emirate and was made to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and school staff,” stated the Government of Abu Dhabi Media Office on its Tweeter account. The authorities have also instructed that all students, teachers and school staff returning to the UAE from international travel through any of the country’s airports or ports must adhere to quarantine measures implemented in Abu Dhabi emirate.
The educational institutions in Pakistan will begin reopening in phases from next week following a fall in new coronavirus case numbers, officials said, ending a long closure that led to exam cancellations and threw students' grades into chaos.
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.
To provide parents, students and staff members in private schools in Dubai with an effective and convenient mechanism to address COVID-19 related queries, the Dubai Health Authority has launched a dedicated 24/7 back-to-school helpline at phone number 800588.
The launch of this service reinforces the authority’s commitment to provide effective communication channels to the community, offering timely and accurate health information.
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 2021 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, will lead the list of international literary luminaries from 13 countries who will participate in the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2021), which takes place from November 3 – 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah. A host of 15 literary greats from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be joining this group of global participants.
The Court of Appeal in Dubai upheld a ruling issued by the Court of First Instance sentencing a gang of three Asians to one year to be followed by deportation and fining them Dhs1,700 after being convicted of assaulting a grocer and stealing a sun of money equal to the fine.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) issued a decision administratively shutting down “Al Madad Refreshments” on Al Salam Street in Abu Dhabi, which holds trade license number CN-1030302, for violating Law No 2 of 2008 regarding food safety in Abu Dhabi.
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.