Abu Dhabi offers free education to students financially hit by virus - GulfToday

Abu Dhabi offers free education to students financially hit by virus


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has welcomed 579 students from 15 different nationalities into the pilot phase of its first Virtual Charter School, a visionary new education option for Abu Dhabi-based expatriate students from lower-income families who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designed to provide quality education free-of-charge to students forced to leave private schools when their parents could no longer afford the fees, the Abu Dhabi Virtual Charter School was launched in October 2020 and currently follows the Ministry of Education (MoE) private school curriculum with potential expansion plans for wider curriculum diversity based on identified needs.

Offering a hybrid learning experience, the new Virtual Charter School is operated by Edurizon Education Services, a subsidiary of AlephYa Education, the pan-regional education investment company focused on delivering affordable and high-quality education across the GCC. Oversight, management and regulatory guidance are delivered by Adek’s Education Partnerships Sector, which is also responsible for the emirate’s successful Charter School model, the third educational model anchored in student centricity.

With the Virtual Charter School catering for students from Grades 5 to 11 and supplying loaned digital devices on a complimentary basis, students are permitted transfers to alternative private schools under Adek rules and policies. However, parents financially affected by COVID-19 who have enrolled their children in the Virtual Charter School must pledge to pay all outstanding amounts to their children’s previous private school and settle fee arrears before re-enrolling children in the private school system.

“The Virtual Charter School is open to students of all nationalities whose families have been financially impacted by COVID-19. This not-for-profit public-private partnership model offers alternative education delivery which redresses learning loss in a pandemic and provides an invaluable bridge for students to continue their education,” explained Sara Musallam, Adek’s Chairman.

Saeed Al Hajeri, Edurizon Board member, said, “We know the critical importance of quality education and we were immediately on board to support an initiative that solves a real education need. The Virtual Charter School model leverages the power of Adek, which will monitor the project’s implementation and operation, and Edurizon, which will operate and manage the school and the learning services.”

NEVER STOP LEARNING: A recent report said that while schools throughout Abu Dhabi will be on a two-week spring break from 28th March, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) intends to keep students entertained and enrich their learning opportunities with the launch of 2021 #NeverStopLearning activities programme.

Under the programme, students in Grade 10/Year 11 to Grade 12/Year 13 can join a spring break virtual pop-up series, running from Monday 29th March to Wednesday 7th April, which will explore study opportunities in Finland, the UK and USA.

The webinars are being run under ADEK’s Rize University Preparation and Career Guidance Programme (UPCG Programme), which helps students enhance their core academic skills required for higher education, explore career and post-secondary pathways, aid their preparation for applying to leading domestic and international tertiary education institutions, and identify best-in-class homegrown talent for Adek’s international scholarship opportunities.

The webinars will focus on a theme related to studying and living in each country. The two-hour ‘Study in Finland’ webinars will run from 3pm to 5pm on 29th and 30th March.

In the first webinar students will meet higher education representatives from Finland, faculty and current students, and learn the Finnish way of studying. The second webinar will focus on Finnish life, including Fins’ love of nature and the country’s burgeoning tech industry.

The ‘Study in the USA’ pop-up webinars will run from 4pm to 7pm on 31st March and 1st April when students will learn the benefits of studying in the United States. Day one discussions will explore choices of US universities and the US application process, while day two will be given over to an introduction to the Common App, the world’s largest global university application platform.


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